Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bristol Graffiti Tour

One of the things I appreciate about nature is that there’s no advertising. Even more, except for trail markings, some artfully piled rocks, the rare piece of litter and the flag at the top of the mountain, when I hike in the woods I don’t have to come in contact with anyone else’s sensibilities.

Then there’s New York, which is nothing but other people’s sensibilities, all vying for my attention. The idea that advertisers get to shape the human environment is one of the worst outcomes of unfettered capitalism. Do I really want to think about psoriasis when I’m on the subway? Or look at that guy in his Calvins high about Houston Street? We can’t avoid it, advertising is everywhere, on every possible bit of real estate including the risers on station steps, and we accept it with no complaints—but when someone presumes to write his/her name on a wall with a marker, everyone goes apeshit.

Art or not, at least it’s the sign of a real person, someone who’s not trying to sell me anything, just letting me know s/he was there.

So what would the world look like if the graffiti artists were to prevail? It would look like Bristol, England, which I visited on my trip to Banksy’s Dismaland (more about that in a later post):

Banksy's "Mild Mild West" next to The Canteen, which advertises itself as "responsible, delicious, and noisy", and where we had roasted duck salad with celeriac root fries. Those street artists eat well!

Work by friend, PETRO, who was our guide.

And I love these little whimsical bits you could easily miss. Later we went to the opening at Fluorescent Smogg Gallery to celebrate more work by PETRO and others:

COSMOGG SECRET INSTALL - BRISTOL 17th September from Fluorescent Smogg on Vimeo.

All photographs by Carol Diehl © 2015