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Sunday, February 27, 2005
Also, it's not like this argument has not occurred before, so really the graffiti tagging was not reinforcing a critical argument but rather reiterating the question, "Is this art?", which was already pretty obvious. I believe there is more to the intentions of the taggers than just reiterating an obvious argument. Were they perhaps trying to parallel the challenges of graffiti art to be seen as a credible art form to the challenges of Jeanne Claude and Christo? Or were they reacting to the art as a territorial or spatial invader? The second doesn't make much sense, but then again it does since NYC is where the urban graffiti movement emerged in the 70’s and 80’s giving rise to artists like Basquait and Haring.
I am not an expert on Public Art or Graffiti Art so I may completely out of context, but I feel that this may be an interesting example of both art forms coming at a crossroads…not necessarily at odds but rather at a point of interaction and it is going to be interesting to see what art develops over time. And that is what is especially wonderful about art…when different styles come into contact…there isn’t a “West Side Story” kind of tragic clash…but usually a merger and evolution of a whole new style. How exciting and inspiring!
Also, for those at a lost of what the art of Christo and Jeanne Claude is about...to me their artwork is about taking a simple aesthetic element…like the ruffle of a textile in the wind or the curve of a line through a natural landscape…and amplifying it to monumental and dynamic interaction with its audience and its environment. I find it all fascinating because I can relate and I am sure many of you could as well.
For example, when I was younger we used to live across the street from the Police Station in Brownsville and there were three metal flag poles situated in front of the station. One some days when there wasn’t much traffic and the wind was particularly rough, the pulleys on the flag pole ropes would swing around metal poles clanking to movement of the wind…”clank…clank clank…clank….clank clank clink…clink clank…” Sometimes it would clank all day non-stop. I never found it annoying but rather comforting and song-like. It was the song of my home, and in a retrospective sense…a song of my childhood…where the simple elements of my environment were the business of life and there was no better or no worse to experience in life. So when I see Christo and Jeanne Claude’s work, I am taken back to that simple and pure sentiment towards life and from there I appreciate their art. It's not beautiful because it's nice-looking...it is beautiful because it is moving.
Here is a picture of Christo and Jeanne Claude’s “The Gates” at Central Park with the Manhattan skyline in the background.
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