Skip to content

Week 7 : Mean Green Tight White

July 17, 2011

garden level touch up

Racing to finish before the scaffolding comes down. Choice comments overheard by the small legless man with the big personality  “I am not a heart attack, I am a coronary arrest!!!”  Or by the passing poet.  “That green is mean. That white is tight.”  Or the two corner customers “ They can smell the junkie on you. And that’s just a fact.”  I neglect to mention the continuous heartfelt thanks we get from people passing by all day. “You are so talented. Hollywood is going to discover you”   Or from the Native American man “When the Hummingbird appears it brings good times.”

This site is mixed in with working people, elderly, children, tourists, immigrants, neighborhood residents, artists, students, post office employees and people picking up their packages. And ofcourse the broken and discarded people, the drug dealing, the violence and anger. The ranting and raving. Can the moments of shared appreciation of color and image, of creative activity alleviate the pain of poverty on this corner in America? Probably not by much.  But what I do know after 30 years of scaling inner city sites is that these images take their place in the public consciousness and in our social imagination. Images are powerful.

We must insist on art, meaning and creative exploration that is accessible and non-commercial. The very small percent of people who hoard the money of our country should not be the only ones who enjoy the “arts”.  I have my doubts as to whether the power/money set even consider this painting art at all or just waste of effort.  They are not willing to support the education, health, arts, infrastructure, immigrants and working people that would strengthen our society. They keep on the blinders and enjoy their gated lives as things crumble around them.  They have their own pharmaceuticals to ease the pain of their disconnect.  Over the counter, under the counter, in crystal glasses or a paper bag, it’s all the same.

Creative practice keeps us fluid.  The genuine interactions we have with people “the public”  “the community” can only take place in this context of art making. It opens up discussion – communication. Even the drug dealers express their appreciation, point out scratches and marks while we generally ignore and keep an eye on each other at the same time.

purple suit

nice moment

Advertisements
2 Comments leave one →
  1. margaret permalink
    August 6, 2011 12:31 pm

    This is a great post, Johanna.

Trackbacks

  1. The Tender » Paint your own hummingbird with Johanna Poethig

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: