Visual Rhetoric – Street Art 2

The initial reaction to this image may be one of disgust—yet another subway defaced by graffiti. The skulls, no matter how beautifully wrought, are posted on public property. They are equally beautiful and eerie. In the filtered half-light of the subway tunnel, they seem to be grinning. This image evokes a sense of unease, perhaps fear, and at the same time, awe.

Background on this Image: This section of subway tunnel in Sao Paulo was “defaced” by a street artist named Alexandre Orion. Yet his art supplies aren’t pens and spray paint—but cleaning agents. This picture is of a trend called “reverse graffiti.” By removing selective grime from the walls, he was able to create his masterpiece. Outraged, the city washed his skulls away. After more “gfaffiti” sprung up, they cleaned the whole tunnel. And to be safe, they cleaned the rest of the tunnels in the city, as well. You can read more here: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2007/10/dirty-trick-cau/

What do you think?

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