Many Many Murals

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What’s the difference between graffiti and street art? Is there a difference? Is it merely a question of perspective or does it depend upon the application of legal rights and ownership? Imagine a big ugly wall in a random city. You are an artist who wants to beautify it with a cool picture or image. You have essentially two options; you can seek permission from the powers that be… find the owner, get permits, apply to boards, possibly get funding from an arts organization, and thereby implement your street art into the city wide plan of development. Or, you can just do it… Graffiti style, no permission from no one, just show up in the middle of the night and throw down some paint.

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My personal preference is for art without permission. Random art spontaneously expressed. True, graffiti style has a much shorter lifespan than approved art. The powers that be like to erase, cross out, and paint over. But there is something essentially magical in the ephemerality of these types of expressions. In a way, it’s like an artistic challenge against the establishment or empire. Can you as an artist make an image that is so beautiful and interesting and unusual and special that they don’t dare to take it down or cover it up?

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Yeah sure, any idiot teenager can spray F… the Police or revolution or down with such and such and so and so on a wall with paint and elicit the expected response from the powers that be. And no doubt there is a certain thrill in enticing the authoritarians. But isn’t it more fun, more interesting and probably more effective to baffle and confuse them instead. That’s what I like about murals… Street art… Powerful messaging. And no, I’m not talking about billboards advertising commercial products. I’m talking about prophets testifying to the coming revolution…

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Ms. B. and I recently spent several months wandering around Argentina and Uruguay. Over the course of our journey we saw an abundance of street art and painted murals. I sure like being in a universe where art is abundant. I am only posting a few favorites here out of the hundreds we encountered. I don’t know which ones were approved by the authorities and which were random acts of spontaneous lawless expression. All I know is that to my mind they all qualify as real deal awesome art. Message and image come together to leave a lasting impression upon my soul. I am especially moved by the words of the young child. Out of the mouths of babes comes the battle cry…

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