Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard about the arrest of prominent Chinese artists and activist Ai WeiWei by the Chinese Government. Ai Wei Wei and dozens of bloggers and artists were arrested earlier in April for “inciting subversion of state power,” a catch-all term used to jail anyone critical of Communist Party rule. Apparently The government is concerned that activists want to launch a “jasmine revolution” similar to the protests taking place in the Middle East.
Yesterday NPR released a great story about graffiti popping up all over China supporting the artist and demanding for his release. Street art is at its best when used to expose corruption. Taking your cause to the streets is one of the only ways to let your voice be heard In a country where the government won’t give a legitimate platform to its citizens. Lets hope that more people stand up to the government and demand that not just Ai Wei Wei but all political prisoners are released and that an open discussion can begin between the Chinese government and the countries 1.4 Billion residents.
Graffiti artist Jesse Hazelip tackles major social issues in his work. Here are some of his pieces from the exhibition Sentimental Journey in which he reflects on WWII and our occupation in North America. For those who are curious, the name Sentimental Journey comes from an actual bomber plane.
A straight acid trip. Broken Fingaz Crew has captured the eye with their vibrant, colorful, in your face artwork. Infused with artful humor, I chuckled at some pieces as my eyes were immersed in this cauldron of comic book style color. “Our dreams are your nightmares”; a tagline that speaks volumes about their work.
From my understanding, Daniel Balavoine was a french singer popular in the 1980s. Alsa Cherie sent us some street art that was posted in Gap in the High Alps. Poetic lyrics taken from Balavoine’s songs that if translated to English would butcher such a romantic language.
When people observe art, the try to find a purpose, a message behind the whole thing. In many art pieces, the message may not be obvious or clear. Within the work by Ripo Visuals, their clear, easy-to-read, simplistic messages are powerful. Catchy, funny, truthful, clever phrases have been left on buildings all over Europe and South America. Courtesy of Ripo Visuals.
Sorry I’ve been lagging on posting the rest of my photos from the recent Italian excursion but better late than never!
One of the perks of going to Europe is seeing graffiti on trains. Since I missed the golden days of NYC subway graffiti, seeing painted trains is the next best thing. People always come back from Europe telling me how all the trains are covered with graffiti from end to end. I was ready to document millions of trains with many gigs on my camera, but the reality was that for every ten trains I saw I was lucky to find one piece. I’m not sure how it is in other countries but it looks like the the buff is catching up with the Italian nighttime beautification squads. Since we had such a hectic time traveling from town to town I didn’t have too much time on my hands to hunt down trains but here’s what went by me while hanging at the station.
Yesterday Los Angeles tagger Buket, aka 26-year old SJSU grad Cyrus Yazdani, was sentenced to nearly four years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of felony vandalism while on probation for 32 prior vandalism charges. Buket is apparently known for daredevil stunts, some of which have popped up in brazen, bravado-filled YouTube clips. One of these clips, which depicts Buket climbing onto a Hollywood Freeway overpass and tagging it in the middle of the day, is embedded in this post after the jump. While this particular stunt is clearly very dangerous to not only Buket but the drivers who were distracted by him, do the severity of his crimes justify the four year sentence?