21.2.12

Anarchist Burma-Shave: Como Avenue Street Art

[A triptych of signs along SE Como Avenue.]
Street art, like graffiti or yarnbombing or Shepard Fairey / Banksy type stuff, is some of my favorite art in the world. I can literally spend hours paging through photos of really good street art, just being amazed the creativity and accessibility of these amazing interventions into everyday life.

I was doing that the other day, looking through a book called Street Renegades.  I found myself reading the excellent introduction by Francesca Gavin, where She describes how street art changes the way we perceive the city:
These little anonymous interventions are not profit-based. Nor do they appear to be publicizing the artist. Instead, they merely change the way people experience city life.
(Gavin 6)
And, she describes why this kind of intervention, to cultivate a 'new way of looking', can be so important: 
The reason why this work is so important culturally is because it forces the public to become aware of and interact with the world around them. … people have to reconnect with the awareness of other people in our fragmented societies. The only place where individuals literally come into contact with each other is outside the bubble of their homes, screens, commodities. The street is the only place where we know something is real – not exaggerated or interpreted. Free public interventions rebel against submissive consumption. They are, by definition, forms of subversive protest.
(Gavin 7)
I guess, though, I've always felt a little left out about street art, what with living in the Twin Cities. Sure, we have the occasional yarnbomb or something, but compared to all the activity in someplace like New York (Conflux!), San Francisco, or Toronto, good street art seems like something that's happening somewhere else.

At least, that was true until the other day. See somehow, somebody has started a guerilla social street art street sign campaign EXACTLY along my route to school. It's as if someone out there is intentionally trying to validate my existence. It feels so good!

Here are the signs:











Bonus:


[This sign was there too, but I don't think its part of the same campaign. It's obviously a bit different.]

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