These companies — and more importantly the ad agencies that design their marketing campaigns — are parasitic and useless. They ride the wave of energy produced by thousands of artists working anonymously for no or little gain, and they drain that energy by cannibalizing its forms to sell products and values that have nothing to do with the movement they’re ripping off. And, what’s worse, the unchallenged co-existence of art & commerce in the street art movement cultivates and reinforces the worst tendencies amongst artists: self-promotion, slick & heartless design, a complete lack of content, easy outs & cookie-cutter derivatives, smug hipness.
Lots of folks are talking these days and no one’s saying all that much. Thumbs up to whoever’s putting these stickers up, just for calling bullshit. If you know who’s behind these, drop us a line at visual.resistance[at]gmail.com. Thanks.
Update: Momo writes in to alert us to something so wrong-headed and stupid it just makes my head spin. Ekosystem has a link to a new music video that uses clips of skateboarding street artists putting up stickers, all to the sounds of that pinnacle of streetwise urban rebellion: Bon Jovi. You know what? If you had told me a year ago that the words “Bon Jovi” would appear on this website, I would have burned my computer, moved to the mountains, and learned Esperanto.
Anyway: check out the Ekosystem board for link to the mind-boggling wrongness, and to join the ongoing discussion on street art & ads.