Thursday, June 28, 2012

street art and the transatlantic

It's another eclectic corner of Silver Lake, en route to the 704 bus stop, via Intelligentsia for a cappuccino and my latest discovery, their feta and scallion scone.  There's another trainer at the bottom, a ballet dancer, an Indian wearing two kinds of formal dress, a lot of painted hearts, and some strange robot-cop looking figures - plus a lot of torn scraps and fragments.  Contemplating why it should be that in England there's Banksy (a barely disguised portrait of him, or at least a wannabe Banksy, called Smitty, helps the plot along effectively in the new John Lanchester novel), who's deliberately pseudonymous, yet in the US we have Shepard Fairey (he of the Obama HOPE poster), who most definitely isn't, I found that, very suitably, Banksy had his first LA show at a tiny gallery in Silver Lake in 2002.

I guess these are (apart from the painted hearts) wheat pasted images, and they had me nostalgic for my old fly-posting days as an undergraduate in Oxford, heading out at the dead of night to plaster hoardings and occasional walls with posters advertising upcoming theater productions, and keeping a constant lookout for police.  I had an old green winter coat - it'd been my best winter coat at school - with a right arm that had turned stiff with all the glue that had slid down it, and frozen and solidified.  But - and this was scary, to find my memory failing me - where did we get the glue, and presumably the plastic buckets from?  Maybe Woolworth's?  And then I panicked when I wasn't sure that I could remember where Woolworth's was (I was right - on the Cornmarket, since 1957 ... although the company had owned the site since the 1930s.  There was previously a Clarendon Hotel there - just where the ugly Clarendon Centre is now.  But I can't be totally sure about those plastic pails, and the brushes, and where we bought or borrowed them - and what did we do with the gummy evidence?

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