Friday, January 29, 2010

Mean Streets

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Most of the graffiti art I've shot in St. Louis has been whimsical, conceptual or sometimes just funny. Type the word "graffiti" in the search field at the upper left of this page and you'll see what I mean. This one, however, is the stuff of nightmares. It's hard to read even without the Lensbaby effect but I think the letters on top of the skull spell out "HATER."

There are some people who are so disturbed, so far removed from society and full of anger, that they become dangerous. I meet them sometimes in my practice and they can be frightening. Imagine the personality of the person who painted this. Then think about the talent that created this powerful design.

For the locals, I found this on the side of a building facing a vacant lot on South 4th Street, on the eastern edge of the Soulard neighborhood. Not a particularly scary area.

11 comments:

Olivier said...

avec ce superbe effet, cela pourrait etre l'affiche d'un film gore ;o)

Jilly said...

You are so right. If only the graffiti artist could use his talent in a positive way. There are some very disturbed people out there - let's hope the hate only goes as far as artwork - yet still it's far too far.

Bibi said...

I enjoyed your commentary as much as the photo, the artistic part, not the words. Indeed, I often have this very same thought. Belgrade walls are FULL of graffiti, often very creative, but nearly just as often full of anger.

I wish cities everywhere would dedicate money to making centers that would really attract youth to help them channel their talents and divert their anger.

Diederick Wijmans said...

Perhaps dangerous but...talented!!

Virginia said...

Oh I don't know about this one. I'm a graffiti hater from way back. Unless the "artist" owned that business, he didn't have the right to use it as his canvas.
V

Louis la Vache said...

In a similar vein, you can find urban art on Albany Point, also not a scary area.

Chuck Pefley said...

My experience is that any area can be a "scary" area depending upon what people are around. I've met a number of graffito artist and so far have never found them to be problematic in any way ... toward me, at least. Same with some of the gruff-tough Harley crowd. But ... all are not created the same.

I like graffiti ... although I abhor the defacement of both public and private property. There was a case recently of the city painting over a large graffiti wall mural, only to have to go back and try to remove the fresh gray paint they had applied, due to a neighborhood outcry for the preservation of the creativity embodied on that wall.

Nice detail, Bob. And I very much like your colorful arch shot from yesterday.

magicpolaroid said...

the effect is fantastic! looklike a holga analog effect!
ciao, Luis

cieldequimper said...

Is it Hallowe'en already? Boy do I hate this but I will admit that the colours and treatment are fantastic!

brattcat said...

Thoughtful post, Bob. What made this artist so angry? What could be done with that talent and energy if there had been more options open to this artist?

Paula said...

That's a powerful post. I imagine you meet all kinds of people through your work, especially people who are angry and want someone to pay.

I volunteered in a prison ministry once doing arts and crafts and was astounded and the creative skills most of them possessed. Imagine if they could have found a way to channel that...

wv crumsi