Friday, June 1, 2018

Georgetown Part Two: Street Art

Street artists of Seattle definitely use Georgetown as their canvas and inspiration, which gives Georgetown that extra special visual pop that makes it such a charming place to explore. Stickers, drawings and even sculptural installations are scattered throughout the streets of Georgetown. 

When I was in London, the group I was with went on an exploration of shadowed streets in order to find a Banksy. We were successful in our mission and saw a Banksy depicting a rat. Part of what makes Banksy so interesting is the mystery behind the artist. Who is this artist? Street art in general lends itself to mystery. Since 'defacing' public property isn't exactly legal, the artists can't take as bold a claim over their work. So of course, Banksy is not the only street artist shrouded in mystery.

Another mysterious street artist goes by the name 'Skid Robot.' This person uses their art to make comments about poverty. They incorporate homeless people and camps into their art in different creative ways that work to humanize homeless people. A man sleeping on the streets will have a though bubble painted above his head depicting his hopes and dreams. Or a homeless man in a wheel chair will have a throne painted behind him as if he is sitting in the throne rather than defined by his handicap and wheelchair.

Another street artist known as Black Hand is thought of as the Banksy of Iran. In Iran, there is more censorship over art, so the artist Black Hand uses the canvas of the city to make social critiques that he cannot make in more traditional settings. One subject he has critiqued is the organ trade in Iran. Iran is one of the only countries where organ trade is legal and it leads desperate people to essentially auction off their kidneys.

When I was living in Arcata, there was a street art controversy. Suddenly overnight, the town was scattered with scrawling font that said 'Loveless' and had a freckling of little hearts surrounding it. Who was this loveless person bemoaning their loveless state through painting the word all around the small town? There was much criticism over the tag, partly because some claimed it wasn't very visually appealing, and partly because so many appeared at once. I don't know if maybe this is an unspoken rule amongst graffiti artists that you should only do a couple pieces at once. I even heard that the police were on this person's track and had a few suspects. I moved away shortly after this controversy arose, so I am unsure if they ever captured the Loveless Bandit, but my hope for them is that they found love and maybe in some other town they wrote 'Loved' graffiti all over the place.

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