Life imitates Art imitates Art imitates Life

gazoo graffiti

I’m always fascinated by the elements that make up some of the larger murals splashed around Montreal. In this three-story high piece, there’s a very literate and informed conversation going on between artist and viewer but I’m not actually sure how many people are picking up the thread, how many passers-by are aware of the references (age, interest and culture probably being a deciding factor) and how such iconic images are woven together in a greater commentary.

Walk on by or stop and think about it for awhile.

Urban Archeology

cat graffiti

I’ve passed over this piece of sidewalk graffiti more times than I can count and each time I have wondered about the circumstances of its making. And no, the image isn’t reversed as the “words” scrawled into the concrete would suggest. What do they say and to whom? The whole reminds me of ancient Roman graffiti – but one doubts it will last as long…

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Doors, Door Knobs and Handles

doors

Thank you for using the artist’s entrance on the right
…’cuz your not allowed in the front door….

⎡⎤

Get a grip on the entries in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Doors, Door Knobs and Handles

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Rant

red graffiti tell me something new

Back in the day we spent many an hour volunteering in our local high school.  Making our presence felt through pallets of bake-sale cupcakes not being enough, we were commandeered one weekend for the thankless, long overdue work of painting smelly lockers and the girl’s washroom an uninspiring shade of institutional grey. One would have thought that giving the cubicles a good coat of something cheery might deter the resident taggers but apparently that wasn’t a consideration.

Two weeks after we had gotten the last bits of battleship acrylic out of our hair we paid a visit to that same ladies’ room and weren’t in the least surprised to find that the clean surface we had laid down was a huge success. It was now a huge canvas beckoning sharpie-wielding pre-teens, angst-ridden Sec 3s and the last no-holds barred bitching of that year’s anxious graduates. It made for interesting reading.

Some things never change. Here was the litany of awful, growing up and growing out of dramas and disturbances, the loves and hates and harangues that went with finding a place in that microcosm of society so many called the prison of high school. It had found its voice on the wall of a stall and the message was clear – all anybody wanted was to be seen and heard.

Getting older doesn’t make it any easier. In fact, as our perception of situations becomes clouded by too many variables, we tend to overthink things or completely disregard what might be staring us in the face. Communication is, at best, fraught with assumptions, alternate meanings and hidden agendas. Sometimes, no matter how plain or carefully chosen our language is, its target just does not get the point. That’s when we want to scream at the top of our lungs from the rooftops.

“How does a rant make itself felt for you?” – loud and proud, scrawled or bawled, snide or snotty, on the wall, in the post or in the news, blogged or flogged – We would love to see your vision…

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

zig zag

suspicions were
that lost mail
floated away
to some dun-coloured bin
in the far recesses
of an alternate universe
post office
now we know
it zigzags
straight
to the alleys
to become bright
decoration
for marauders
of all kinds

Go up and down the entries in the Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag.

A words

tagged a anarchy

A is for Anarchy
soft and sweet
slipping into your dreams
on gold slippered feet
wrapped in pink satin
with bows in her hair
Any logic Abducted
in a liquid brown stare
gun-toting Angel
Anonymous heart
Abandon All hope of love
for Art

Amble along to the entries in Frizztext’s A-Z Challenge: A words.

tagged “Y”

tagged y youth

Y is for Yes
all that Youth brings
the sweet smell of Yielding
on feather-soft wings
Yowl and Yearn
Yellow irises sway
from Years sleep woken
by Yawning day

Yell about the entries in Frizztext’s A-Z Challenge: tagged “Y”.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

contrast

the city screams
for distinction
while bentleys and bicycles
battle for supremacy
high-priced whores and hipsters
haggle over who will win
the race, the game
the housing crunch
in a soulless search
to leave their stamp
on the door
in a town
where everyone is an artist

 Make disparate parts whole in the entries of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast.

JJJ – Challenge

jjj jumpin

Jumpin’ Jehosaphats
Jitterbug Jive
Jingle Jangle piano
Jam sessions live
Jenny’s at the Jukebox
Johnny’s Just in time
Jewels and Junk
Jazz in a trunk
Jack-a-dandy’s rhyme


Jog over to the entries of Frizztext’s JJJ – Challenge.

Travel Theme: Big

big

big plans for a big hole become a big condo
big change in the neighbourhood

Have a look at this location one year ago at A Word a Week Photography Challenge – Worker then go and live large in the entries of Where’s my backpack?’s Travel Theme: Big.

Story Challenge: Tagged “V”

tagged v

Velma was a Vixen
Voluptuous to a fault
Vacillated sweetly
brought traffic to a halt
Vexing were advances
Valentinos by the score
Violets and Valuables
sang Vespers at her door
Velvet Venus on the half shell
Vicars eyes avert
Vivaciously Voracious
all she wanted was dessert

Visit Vivid entries in Frizztext’s Story Challenge: Tagged “V”.

A Word a Week Photography Challenge – Face

face

not appearing on a stamp anytime soon

Get up close and personal with the entries in
A Word in your Ear’s Word A Week Photo Challenge – Face.

¿

Story Challenge: Tagged “P”

scarry nixon tagged P

Pink Pigs Pop
Painted Pirate Poetry
Push the Profound
Punch up Perspective
in Proud Pigments
Proclaiming
Pictorial Prowess

 ♥

Ponder the entries in Frizztext’s Story Challenge: Letter “P”.

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Graffiti – Week 2

graffiti

As the world becomes smaller and more information is made available to us, hopefully making us more tolerant of different points of view, it seems odd that there are still many places in the world where self-expression is frowned upon. Persecution of those who dare to assert their opinion in a creative manner is an old story that is being repeated daily as Malina Suliman, an Afghan graffiti artist, can attest. This form of art being practiced, sanctioned or not, is at its core statement-driven and this fortnight’s Two Cents Tuesday Challenge theme – Graffiti  would submit that it transcends borders.

Last week, Across the Bored was curious “What does graffiti look like to you?” –  Political comment, die-hard declaration of love or mash-up missive to the world, cursive or abstract, community code, floral ode, tag on a train, scribble near a drain, Art or eyesore… We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.

Read more on what other WP bloggers are saying about graffiti at:

Forged in Sheffield: Faunagraphic
Graffiti Alley: An Oasis of Color
Arctic Graffiti

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Graffiti

graffiti

many hands make light work

A few decades ago musicians playing a gig in the city would roll into a little motel with an exotic name just off the highway. It was far enough away from the downtown core that they could kick back after a show with a bottle, or something more nefarious, and make some noise long into the night without incurring the wrath of any neighbours or a visit from the police. Originally built to resemble its classic American counterparts complete with two-tier attached guest rooms, lots of parking and the requisite umbrellas and beach chairs around the pool, it never seemed to attract the wholesome family tourists its architecture aspired to. As the years passed it came to be known as that seedy place at the end of the strip where businessmen in ill-fitting suits with bulging breast-pockets, card sharks and other creatures of the night could skulk in and out in quiet anonymity.

At one point, the motel was taken over by new management but a change of name and a taller sign by the side of the road did little to change the sketchy nature of the place. With the passing of the seasons things got a little more run-down, the paint on the guest room doors started to fade and peel and the little restaurant that had once boasted a “home-cooked” breakfast served its last cup of coffee – we knew the end was near when we could see mattresses stacked against the walls of the now empty party room through the long-unwashed windows. From one day to the next it closed – no fanfare, no hue and cry from the long-time residents who had been swindled out of their trust funds, the shady ladies long-past their prime or the substance abusers with no where else to go. Like so many landmarks it just faded, still visible on the perimeters but a hollow shell of another more prosperous time. Various plans to convert the boarded-up buildings into a small hotel or condominiums never materialized and soon it was completely abandoned.

Or so most people thought. The squatters and vagrants found their way in, the homeless kids with their dogs, the junkies unable to get any further, all found a room for the night or in some cases, longer. The sheets of plywood covering the doors and windows must have seemed like a canvas in search of a saviour for one day the first tag appeared in bright, roiling cursive. It wasn’t long before each door and window was covered in spray-paint, its bold colour reclaiming the urban landscape as invasively as the weeds in the asphalt of the parking aprons. It began to look somehow … better and while waiting for the lights to change at a newly installed intersection we would peer across trying to pick out which new tag or message had appeared overnight.  In what the insurance companies like to call an Act of God, the motel was struck by lightning and went up in flames like so much kindling.

What’s left will soon be demolished – construction on an overpass progresses slowly as the cold concrete threatens to take over the last bits of green but already the first aerosol artists are laying claim to their very own Two Cents Tuesday Challenge with – Graffiti.

“What does graffiti look like to you?” –  Political comment, die-hard declaration of love or mash-up missive to the world, cursive or abstract, community code, floral ode, tag on a train, scribble near a drain, Art or eyesore…

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge: HOW DOES THIS WORK?

  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Your point of view on the current week’s challenge can take any form: a quote, a motto or saying, an essay, poem or opinion of yours or attributed to someone else, a piece of music, a song, a video, a work of art, photograph, graffiti, drawing or scribble – but it has to be about the topic!
  3. Please, don’t just link to an old post… challenge yourself.
  4. The Challenge will be open for 14 days (there will be a reminder post at the 7 day mark) after which I will post another.
  5. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. If you would like your reader to see what others are presenting for the same challenge, add a link to the “Two Cents Tuesday” challenge on your own blog.
  4. Feel free to pick up your badge on the Two Cents Tuesday Challenge page
  5. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal – Urban

A fascination with graffiti and architecture combines for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal – Urban.  Talk about the changing face of the city in some circles and you’ll either be met with suspicious glares, get embroiled in a heated discussion about the lack of civic leaders’ adequate foresight or will be pleasantly surprised by the rehabilitation of a down and out neighbourhood.  A vision, conception, the wrangling of red-tape and public consultation,the first scarily destructive steps taken towards revitalization – all these are but part of the protracted birthing pains leading up to the awakening of a unique community. Like a newborn child, the shell of this building only hints at what it could possibly become.