Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Someone scrawled on the wall "I smell the blood of les tricoteuses"

Marseilles has more graffiti than any city I've ever been to; it grows wild here like some sort of tropical flora, as colorful and irrational as blue dappled flowering vines in the Amazon. Along the major highway there are abandonned motels and apartment complexes- a truly uncanny sight for some reason- that are completely tattoed with fat three-letter, multicolored splats, like mishapen butterflies ground into the concrete. I think the city leaves the buildings standing as some sort of warning to the passing cars.

Some of the emblems are remarkably ornate and Byzantine, but overall there's a surprising lack of imagination. The three and four-letter tag predominates, and I have yet to see any objects or images. Even the most colorful tags remind me of dopey art on customized vans of the 70s- the California fairground style. And these people have a burning message to share with the world that amounts to "SNIK" or "AUK"? It's as if they learned to communicate from corporate logos, which of course they quite likely did. I realize that there are some brilliant graffiti artists out there- that's all the more reason for SNIK to try harder than he is.

61 comments:

Holly said...

A euphemism for sweatshops, maybe?

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Just thought I should take a second and say whats up to everyone today. Looking forward to the site and what all the memebers has to talk about. I've been spending to much time on http://kids.yahoo.com/games . Needed a break.

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