St. Louis’ mile of creativity

I have yet to see the St. Louis Graffiti Wall located on Wharf Street south of the Arch but that will change in the next few weeks. I’ve got to see it.

The Graffiti Wall has been around for a while but I never really thought of it as a must-see attraction. In yesterday’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I saw two photos mentioning it and the photos were enough to make me want to see more.

Open Studios STL was celebrating St. Louis artists and art in general so they invited more than 140 graffiti artists from around the country to give the wall a refresh. Here’s the article that also has a link to a slideshow of some of the work in progress: (http://www.stltoday.com/gallery/news/multimedia/all-kinds-of-art-in-st-louis-over-the-weekend/collection_f842be1e-cd6c-5270-9e6b-1056ee522fd8.html#18)

More impressive, though, is this YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXI5D3MKB28) that takes you for a ride, traveling along the wall where you can view the Graffiti Wall in its entirety. It takes several minutes to view and they do some weird camera angles that almost made me dizzy while watching it. Still, it’s amazing.

Well, at least some parts of it are. I think recently some graffiti lovers have taken to grafitti-ing the graffiti and the net effect becomes kind of junky. But there are also startling pieces of illustration and a wide variety of styles that make me want to take an hour or so to view the art. Because it is art.

And the talents of the many contributors have created something that, though you can’t call it a masterpiece, is at least a definite tribute to – well, that’s hard to say. Pop culture? The underground? The underbelly?

Graffiti artists have always had a bad rap – and for good reason – they’re defacing property that isn’t theirs to deface. But this is different. This is a graffiti wall that comes with the public’s blessing and it’s another sign that St. Louis really does support the arts.

I have always loved to paint on large canvasses. Having an entire wall to create something would be both amazing and a major challenge. I don’t think I could go at the pace of some of these maestros and I’ve never really experimented with painting with a spray can though I know it’s not too different than the airbrush work I used to do.

For now, I’m happy to be an observer.

I plan on having my ipod with me when I walk the mile. Music and art just naturally go together. I might also have a spray can or two with me when I go. Maybe I’ll paint a Billiken (which would be my own rendition of Kilroy was here) or re-create the Yes logo which I used to draw on all my notebooks back in high school. (I’m a huge fan of Roger Dean!)

So check out the YouTube video and if the art moves you, go see it in person.

Hopefully, it will be worth the price of admission.