Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Splasher, Abridged

In New York City, there is a very vibrant street art scene. But, some have become disillusioned with the fact that the art world is trying to commercialize this very organic and anarchic art form. Instead of dialogue, these someones have decided to take the issue into their own hands. This person is known as the Splasher.

The Splasher goes through the city and splashes on other people's art with a spiel of avant-garde art rhetoric pasted with it. The battle is interesting, and, while I'm sad to see the work that is being damaged go down, I have to say the new works are really interesting. It's sort of like SAMO (Basquiat's old tag questioning the nature of graffiti and society) but not like the shitty tags thrown up by CAP in Style Wars. The replacement is very interesting and a stunningly effective critique of the street art work that is now destroyed. A lot of the work destroyed is very generic street art; the splashing leads one to question the original art on its merits, as hard as that may seem.

Unfortunately, like every art movement that calls itself avant-garde like the Futurists, it has a manifesto. Gothamist has posted excerpts for everyone else who doesn't have the time to read a ridiculously verbose statement about the nature of art and the splasher's action or want to cop a copy of it. It's really, really ridiculous. I can't summarize it because it's unsummarizable. Gothamist did the best they could, but it's really challenging to compress anarchist ideals about art. Anarchist ideals are confounding to begin with; summarizing them is even harder. So, make up your own mind, but I think that anything that shakes up the stagnant art world is always an advancement. When a street artist is getting patronage from Angelina Jolie, the movement is in dire need of a shake-up. The Splasher is providing this, and I have to respect that as a fan for the advancement of art as a form.