Posts Tagged ‘Graffiti’

Murals of La Jolla-Richard Allen Morris

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Applied by R. A. MorrisDetail, "Applied"

Detail, "Applied"

The eighth mural of La Jolla is on an accessible wall and is printed so well on the large Miroflex cloth that the texture of the impasto looks three dimensional. Richard Allen Morris uses texture and vivid colors in his paintings; this mural is called “Applied” and is printed from a photo of the original eight-by-eleven inch work. The mural is surprisingly clear and the textures pop. This is easy to relate to,  easy to walk up close to. It reminds me of scoops of ice cream–maybe because it was especially warm on the day I walked by.

A couple of the murals seem a little worse for wear in the bright sunlight–Anya Gallaccio’s electron microscope image of a sand grain seems to be fading–the dark valleys are not nearly as dark as they used to be and Ryan McGinness’s “53 Women” is not quite as vibrant–the primary colors are just a little less startling. Of course, maybe it’s not the sun’s fault. Maybe I’m just used to seeing those two.

Baldessari's SeaScape & Brain Cloud with Palm Tree

I had lunch at George’s of the Cove and sat next to John Baldessari’s brain cloud and it is just as weird as ever. That third floor terrace is about the only place you can really see the whole of Baldessari’s mural. From the walkway below by the sea,  the top part is visible but not the deep blue of the ocean below the brain cloud.  It takes a while to get used to Baldessari but the brain cloud is my favorite Murals of La Jolla.
There will be eight more murals in the next months.

Richard Allen Morris’s Applied is fun.  It kind of sneaks up on you as you walk up Fay Street. It seems more “universal” in that you only need to appreciate the artist’s use of color and the movement given the color with the use of texture and not ponder what the deeper meaning might be. It’s a great swirl of energy.

Mark Patterson’s Surfing Madonna

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Surfing Madonna

We’ve been following the saga of the Surfing Madonna with a couple of previous posts.

SignOn San Diego, June 9, 2011,  reports that the artist who constructed the Surfing Madonna, Our Lady of Guadalupe on a surfboard with the message, Save The Ocean beside her, is Mark Patterson. Patterson claimed creation of the mosaic because the  city of Encinitas has decided it must be removed from the gray cement supports of a train overpass.  The mosaic seemed to be epoxied to the cement and chipping it away the only way to remove it.  But Patterson said it was attached to a back-board screwed on with 18 screws.

So Encinitas can safely take it down.  It is on public property with a religious icon.

There has been a lot of back and forth public opinions, Leave It Up/Take It Down.

However, that it would be removed is a no-brainer. The graffiti artist, by definition,  appropriates someone’s property without permission to display his art.

Graffiti in Chinatown, San Francisco

Like this tag in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It may be art, but it is out of place.  And it is not like commissioned public art or murals on walls which have been approved by the owners, like the La Jolla murals.

Patterson’s notion that the train overpass would be an okay place for his art is naive at best.  He did after all disguise himself as a construction worker wearing a hard hat to put it up, so it would seem that he had some small inkling that he was doing something illegal.  SignOn San Diego states that “Patterson said he was unaware of the city’s public-art approval process.”  That’s like saying you are unaware of a building code.  It’s easy enough to ask.

And it’s hard to believe that his attorney, Anton Gerschner, sees Our Lady of Guadalupe as merely a “cultural icon that is part of our society” and not a religious icon.  The culture and society which revere Our Lady of Guadalupe as holy happen to be Catholic. It’s hard to divorce the Madonna from religion. Even though Patterson says his message “is not religious” but a message to “save the ocean” he did choose a religious figure to ride the waves.

There is no denying that some of the 18,000 drivers a day snap photos as they pass the mosaic, some walkers leave flowers, and some come to Encinitas just to see it.  And if it had not been put in that public spot, maybe not so many would have discovered it.  Now it has not only local followers but national attention as well, reported in such papers as the Washington Post.

I’m sure the city of Encinitas will find a legal place to display it so people can continue to come to see it.  And Patterson’s message, Save the Ocean, will continue as will our appreciation of his skill as a mosaic artist and the unique way he visualized his message. We just need to appreciate his skill and vision in a different spot.

Graffiti/Street Art

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

La Mesa mural

La Jolla graffiti

In Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art is showing “Art in the Streets” at the Geffen Contemporary. Presented are works by 50 artists covering the history of graffiti and street art from New York to LA, Paris, and Sao Paulo.  Well, 50 artists, but obviously not all of the ones people respect judging from the comments on the site, www.moca.org.  A lot of yelling about the artist who was left out, Blek le Rat from Paris. But you can find him elsewhere on the Net.

ARTnews, in its January issue, has a great article “Beyond Graffiti.”  So the interest in street art is becoming legit. Depending on whether you call it graffiti, street art, tagging, or crap on a wall, it is getting press.

Yesterday in the LA Times, tho, the police noticed an increase in graffiti around the Geffen and the museum has taken to the streets erasing the tags.  That’s a rather mixed message. Seems to me if they are presenting as valid the street art inside the museum, they ought to leave the new tags outside at least for the duration of the show. It’s like, good art/bad art.

One commentator  felt that if the art was illegal, it wasn’t art.  But you can steal a Picasso or a Venus from a dig, then sell it illegally, and it’s still art.

El Cajon art from the street

El Cajon art from the street

Nothing in my neighborhood approaches the kind of street art at MOCA.  Nevertheless, there is some art around that is visible from the street, although it is not tagger art, or graffiti, but there by permission of the property owner.  If you get gas at the 76 station in El Cajon  you can look at cranes and pandas on all the walls and metal boxes inside and out while you pump the gas.  No one in the store knows anything about the artist or artists, so it remains anonymous for most of us.

Electrical box

Some other electrical boxes around are painted, with varying skill, and a mural in downtown La Mesa reflects the usual attitude towards graffiti–erase it fast.

I posted the red flower in the blog I did on the murals in La Jolla.  I need to go back and see if it is still there.  It’s in an alley next to a commissioned mural by Kim MacConnel.  So within feet of each other, the illegal graffiti and the legal mural.  Sounds like the streets around Geffen Contemporary.