Amoeblog

GRAFFITI ART OUTSIDE AMOEBA MUSIC SF, PART II

Posted by Billyjam, June 10, 2007 08:35am | Post a Comment

After yesterday's AMOEBLOG (the first part of this three part showcase of the graffiiti art outside Amoeba Music on Haight St.) two good comments were posted -- both positive/pro graffiti art. Melissa in SF wrote that she is also in favor of graffiti as art but how she'd "wish they'd clean up them big heads in the back...it's all messed up with cheap tags and dirt, and that has been my fave piece forever!" -- this in reference to one of the heads captured in the pic to the left here and also below in four pics. I agree with Melissa. And to me these particular images are just so striking that I literally could stand (or sit) in front of them for hours on end gazing upon their blinding beauty. And truth-be-told, I have spent a lot of time doing just that -- sitting down for long periods and slowly taking in the street art in front of me. It's no different than going to a gallery/museum and allowing ample time to fully absorb an art exhibit. Which reminds me of one time a few years ago downtown San Francisco on opening night for the MoMa for some hot, hot show. I wish I could remember exactly what the new about-to-be-unveiled exhibit was. It was one of those really well-publicized and hyped exhibits that everyone was talking about at the time...kinda like the buzz surrounding the ongoing Vivienne Westwood show in SF. But anyway, the point was that it was opening night and there was a huge mob of people (many there to be seen or to simply chug down the complimentary wine and cheese) all queuing up outside. In fact, the line was so long it snaked all the way down Third Street towards Mission and around the corner down this little alley/side street. But on that side street on that chilly San Francisco evening, as everyone was chatting and looking ahead wishing for the line to move faster, right to their left (behind a wire fence) were all these stunningly beautiful fresh graffiti pieces. But the people in line, anxious to get inside, all seemed to ignore the street art that (in my opinion at the time) was way better than the exhibit inside. The point being that street art, like the graffiti that adorns the outside walls of Amoeba SF and across the street from the store too and all around the immediate Haight Street 'hood, is in reality a wonderful public art gallery there to be enjoyed, and better still, it never has a cover charge.

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GRAFFITI ART ADORNS WALLS OUTSIDE OF AMOEBA MUSIC, SF

Posted by Billyjam, June 9, 2007 01:19pm | Post a Comment
                                                                                                                                                                    
I have loved graffiti for as long as I can remember. I guess from when I first saw it way back in the day emblazoned on the sides of New York City subway cars. That was 1978 and I was real young and had arrived in New York City -- fresh off the plane from Ireland -- my first time in America. Arriving in New York City in the late seventies was scary and being faced with the vision of graffiti (something I had never seen before) was at first a shock, but soon it provided a sense of comfort. And within a short time I grew to love this subway and street art that seemed to be everywhere in those days. This was back in hip-hop's early days -- before the so-called "four elements" had been drummed into impressionable minds by "hip-hop academics" -- I.E: people who came to the music/culture after the fact and from outside, but who nonetheless wrote the books (literally) on this culture that they learned of secondhand.

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GUERILLA ARTISTS CREATIVELY REDECORATE PUBLIC SPACES

Posted by Billyjam, May 25, 2007 08:08pm | Post a Comment
 
'I'm like the Rainman of the F train now because I now know every speck of that train,' laughed New York public space guerilla artist & recent subway prankster Ellen Moynihan. "Sixty seats, eight doors, and seven poles. And the overhead ads are exactly seventy inches by ten inches," said the ring leader of the spirited and highly creative four-woman House Of Malcontents crew, made up of Ellen and three other New York artists with a shared desire to reshape public spaces such as a subway car to make it more homey. This they accomplished last month when all four boarded an early morning F train in Brooklyn headed into Manhattan, and briskly and artistically made it over to look and feel more like ... home.

'No Train Like Home,' they dubbed the installation that took the four guerilla artists 40 minutes to carry out during early morning New York City commute hour. Carol Tessitore was one of the collaborators. The other two wish to remain anonymous because of the illegality of the maneuver. The idea for the 'No Train Like Home' came to Moynihan, who is also a writer (currently working on a book about Patti Smith), after checking out Mark Ecko's controversial graffiti on subway event in Chelsea a couple of years ago. Later, as she was riding the bland, drab, New York subway, she fantasized about how great it would be to make over the institutionalized-looking subway car into something warmer, to make it feel and look like your living room -- especially since so many New Yorkers spend so much time commuting by subway daily.

     

At first she thought, "How cool would it be to get a grant and get a lot of money and a subway car of my own to redecorate?" But soon after she gave up on the difficult task of trying to get a grant, and also on the idea of asking for permission. So she studied the subway to learn "every speck" -- taking photos and measuring in preparation for the perfectly plotted makeover morning (April 6th) when Ellen and her three fellow Malcontents went to work on the train. They put a runner rug down the center of the subway car and taped down 'welcome' mats near the sliding train doors, covered the windows with curtains, tied flowers to the poles, put pillows on the usually uncomfortable hard seats, scattered magazines around to read, and nice art to look at instead of the ads already there. "We made copies of family portraits or paintings you'd see at home," said photoshop expert Carol, who also 'stitched together' on computer photo images of books on a shelf and later printed them out on the long reams of paper they had purchased.

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