Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Primitive 70's Lips

Here is a smile coming to us from the past. Everyone likes a pair of disembodied lips, right? Maybe drawn quickly by a gutsy 6th grader on her way home from school. Definitely a girl. Agreed? ...Or maybe by a stunted Rolling Stones fan...? Really impossible to tell.

From the wear of the pavement I'm guessing that it was drawn sometime in the 1970's, a classic time for making graffiti in wet cement. Truly the Renaissance of sidewalk vandalism, beautiful work came from this time period which is just now being torn up and replaced. These were the days when the guys laying the cement didn't seem so committed to a good sidewalk. I remember scratching my name and making funny footprints in the pavement over North when I was a kid and the workers didn't react. Too stoned? They would just watch you on there breaks as they giggled over an enormous a bag of Cheetos. Floppy haired with cigarettes. In those days the pavement was also never laid completely straight so it gave us natural jumps for our skinny K Mart skateboards. Those were the days...

So back to the question. Is this art? No.. really, no. But, it is the kind of juvenile street scrawlings that inspired primitive artists who brought elements of street work into galleries in the 1970's and 1980's. And their is an innocence here that I find slightly touching. But only slightly. I bet this was made to impress someone by having the guts to do something slightly defiant. (In that way not unlike most art).
But my answer is still "no". However, it makes me happy to see this and I am glad it exists. So yes... it probably is art!

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