Posts Tagged ‘Graffiti’

Tagging – Two Cultures Scribble Their Hopes + Wishes

Posted by Robert Weitz on August 9, 2011 1:06 PM

I popped downtown to take one more look at MOCA’s “Art In The Streets” show before it closed. It seemed that every artist, tagger, curioista and his sister decided to catch a final last minute look at the exquisitely scrawled installations by the master taggers turned sophisticated artists of the early 80′s.

Scrawling on walls, hanging scribbles and banners in the landscape goes back to the beginning of recorded history. In fact, the first scribble marked the beginning of recorded history! We do it carefully, we do it wistfully, we do it in anger (“Eat the rich” and “Down with Gaddafi”), and we express our hopes and aspirations.

So, I was delighted to bump into another expression of our instinct to scribble—Tanabata, also known as the “star festival,” was being celebrated in Little Tokyo (LA), and I had to walk through the main plaza to get to MOCA.

Hanging on specific trees were notes expressing people’s wishes: Wishes for jobs, wishes for things, and wishes for health, love and happiness. Some were obviously written by children and they evoked the same impulse to scrawl and scribble that the ancient cave paintings and our lovely street art does!

Cultcha – Or How We Scrawl

Posted by Robert Weitz on July 20, 2011 3:36 PM

You don’t have to be an art critic to notice that the graphic styles featured in Art in the Streets at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary would probably not be appropriate for banking or air traffic control instructions. It’s an amazing backdrop for a party that featured multiple DJs, light shows, and some robotic dummy taggers to boot.

Art in the Streets

No matter what you think about post 1970’s street art, its cultural reach and—in the case of Banksy or Keith Haring—its artistic genius is indisputable. While constantly being weighed against more orthodox and established art, street art is often a huge influence on mainstream art, design, and fashion. So much so that it’s about to become passé or retro!

So don’t forget to wear your hoodie to the show. When you are cruising around, remember that our more stuffy museums are full of works by the Russian Constructivists, Toulouse-Lautrec, Utamaru, among many others that are extremely influenced by the art of the street. It’s in the passion and spontaneous expression of the street artists that we discover the seeds of things to come!

“Art in the Streets” at Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, through August 8, 2011.