Friday, June 13, 2008
This is public art at its best. It fulfills the grand tradition of populist murals in a savvy and earnest manner. Unlike the ham-fisted images of the early 20th century, these works celebrate the common individual without pedantry or melodrama. While the concept runs dangerously close to being overly sentimental, the gritty execution ties the work to reality rather than romanticism. I enjoy the way the artist does not hesitate to draw around pipes, cracks, or other imperfections in the walls. He incorporates the flaws and blemishes into the work, yet manages to avoid making the portraits grotesque. Instead, the inconsistencies of the substrate join with the content, making the mundane subjects that much more endearing.
These are the real faces of the city. They are young and old, hopeful and resigned. Like the charcoal on the wall, they will be gone with rain.
"It will fade away with time, just like the memory of the people."
"I don't know if I will be able to see it again, but at this moment it is priceless."
I look forward to watching the entire film.