A brick wall on a playground around 14th street in Manhattan, the colors that fill the legible letters with their rounded swing are somewhat affected by the porous baked stone. It is 1984 and the letters spell ‘Urban Blight’. For more than a decade I wonder if this word is a concoction of ‘bright’ and ‘light’, only to later find it is a synonym of ‘decay’.
What is the difference between Street Art and Graffiti? I will tell you. One makes real estate prices go up, the other makes them go down. After a week of ambivalence towards the entire art world, I decided to accept an invitation to paint a big mural in South Miami. Contemplating what to paint, it was in a casual setting at the owner’s house that the word ‘blight’ was mentioned. This threw me back to that first visit to New York which changed my life (thanks mom) and consequently inspired me to paint ‘Unblighted’ just now. Whereas blight takes away the ability for plants to grow, the definition of unblighted is ‘fresh, pure’. And that’s exactly what our culture is all about.
Does anyone recall that piece in the East Village? Who did it? Any photos?