So today i watched a talk by David Polka, a street artist. I thought about his opinion on how street artists portray death and decay and i think that he has an interesting opinion and i agree with his thoughts and feelings on this subject.
He says that cities and olden buildings express decay. They speak for the passage of time and human presence. They’re inspiring with there cool textures and the way that we can relate to architecture. You can see all the processes that had happened, you can see the contrast of seeing man-made structures return to the way they were from. It opens up new questions when you see the processes happen, like overgrown plants etc.
He says that as a graffiti artist he wants to leave a mark on the world. We all do because if we don’t, we feel lifeless. Graffiti art is highly controlled visual advertising on blank walls. It makes people feel that they can give an opinion when they look at it because its not like going to the gallery, its more open and it makes people think. This is an example of the power art can give and another opinion on decay.
If you’d like to watch the video i have been referring to, you can watch it here:
Today I am going to discuss the two themes; power and decay. We find decay fascinating as a subject and its all around us. It brings us together. We are constantly exploring and spending money to see things that have decayed. For example The Tintern Abbey, one of the greatest monastic ruins in Wales.
There’s something that fascinates us with the past, perhaps it’s how the buildings were built compared to the modernised designs we have now. The wonderment of how something/someone that once was revered and had purpose is now cast aside and neglected for a myriad of reasons. Why and how did that rejection occur? Is abandonment always inevitable? When I look at such images I can’t help but see life and death simultaneously – what was and is. Here is a photograph of a painting held at the Tate Museum in London.
JMW Turner, Tintern Abbey: The Crossing and Chancel, Looking towards the East Window, 1794.
Picture reference: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2014/mar/03/ruin-lust-our-obsession-with-decay-in-pictures
Art is also very powerful. The human brain responds to art in different ways, Art that we find beautiful can apparently increase blood flow in a certain part of the brain by as much as 10 per cent- the equivalent to gazing at a loved one. Great art can be beautiful, but it can also be scary and dreadful. It can disarm us but also can alarm us with its embedded messages. It can also be educational, for example we don’t really think about problems of others and by global issues, like whats going on in America at the moment with Donald Trump being president. We do not feel strongly enough that we are part of a global community. Giving people information often leaves them overwhelmed and not empowered and poised for action. This is where art makes a difference. Art doesn’t show people what to do but engages you to your senses. It can make you feel which can spur thinking and action which is why at the moment there is a lot of propaganda art in America.
This poster is designed by Shepard Fairey. More information on this to be found on: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/shepard-fairey-s-inauguration-posters-may-define-political-art-in-trump-era-a7536721.html
I hope from my opinion on the power of art and decay has given you more of an understanding. Here are a few links of sites i found interesting if you’d like to read more into the subjects: