The morning of Wednesday, November 3, wasn't a particularly easy one for some of us, especially those hungover from staying up late drinking and watching election results. There was a desire to break stuff -- maybe key a car with a Bush-Cheney sticker or howl at the Halliburton building. What if you'd just happened to be holding a spray-paint can? Would you have tagged a red line of hatred down the corporate corridor, squeezing that blood-oil metaphor for every drop of limp protest value? Then again, some folks woke up bright-eyed and Bushy-tailed. How would they wield aerosol paint? We know: big red Ws for the Warehouse District!
Aerosol Warfare, a graffiti-artist collective, may know a little something about urban dissent. The group has been holding performances and art shows for close to a decade, in an effort to vitalize the virtually dead art of graffiti -- but Aerosol Warfare actually gets permission to tag. The group even has been commissioned to write on restroom walls. Is nothing sacred?
The collective has asked artists to unleash their emotions about the recent election on 11- by 17-inch posters for an exhibition of political and artistic expression. According to Aerosol Warfare's press release, "Red vs Blue" will "promote dialog and unification in this divided nation" and "open the lines of communication between the Republicans and the Democrats."
Punk really is dead. And the idea that graffiti art can be a vehicle to promote unification sounds insidiously Republican. But who knows? Graffiti does look cool. And graffiti artists sport cool, cryptic names -- Reverend Butter, Bubblegum and Braces, Prime, Lucky Bunny, Zulu237 and DJ Battle Monkey are just a handful of the stylishly subversive talents participating in this happening. Social critique aside, this event should arouse some serious attention. From a purely aesthetic perspective, the collective deserves props for originality and audacity: Aerosol Warfare is known for cross-pollinating fringe art movements like graffiti, skateboarding and ice sculpture into intriguing, eclectic visions.
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