Today, I am inspired to be something and to do something.
I went to the Geffen in Los Angeles yesterday with K to see a street art exhibit. It was the first time I had seen street art displayed in a studio. In some ways, a gallery felt like a foreign setting for street art. At the same time, seeing Shepard Fairey, Banksy, Mr. A, and Os Gemeos in a gallery felt like the art was in the proper place to get the attention and recognition it deserved, where people could look at it thoughtfully and see it differently.
This morning, I woke up and finished watching Exit Through the Gift Shop, of which I had only seen the fifteen minutes until now. Not surprisingly, it lived up to everything I had heard about it and more.
To me, street art feels like one of the freest forms of expression. It’s often anonymous, very visible and accessible, and subject to the viewers’ interpretation. Street artists like the ones featured in the documentary simply enjoy the act of creating, without any ulterior motives. It’s almost as if the fame and fortune that followed were convenient side effects to the quintessential purpose of street art. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t totally dig that.
Morgan Spurlock was on NPR promoting his new documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, in which he proposes that all the space that your eyes can see are exploited for advertisement or some kind of marketing scheme. Whether it’s a car bumper sticker to a billboard to a design to a bus stop to a grocery bag. You can’t go anywhere (except to sleep, or perhaps Sao Paolo in Brazail) to escape it.
So, in a world saturated with so many schemes to grab our attention to influence us to buy things, street art is a welcome buffer to enriching our experience in this crazy place. Instead of serving an obvious purpose, street art encourages us to search for purpose. And meaning. Or perhaps decide that there is no purpose or meaning to anything, really! Whatever it is truly meant for, street art provokes thought and catches your attention and hopefully inspires you to say something yourself.
Finally put up these lanterns today. I was in the perfect mood to add more color to my room.