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Focusing on the marks | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Focusing on the marks

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Maddie and I come across this truck quite often in the mornings when we walk by on our normal dog route. It’s typically parked in the same area which isn’t that notable except for the fact that the building it’s near is quite clean, slightly prissy and something that you would expect to see on some parts of Madison Ave. We like the truck because it’s such a contrast to the building. We also like the gestures that the marks represent. I’m sure if you asked the owner of the truck or those that have to work in the building they’d offer some other opinions. But those marks kind of show some signs of whose talking with their paint and markers. Most of the stripes tail off towards the top because their arms weren’t any longer. And those that were able to get higher probably climbed on the truck. But as time goes by, all the marks tend to blend into each other into indecipherable symbols.

I was wondering about those shapes so I took a couple pictures. The first image is quite smudgy. So I blurred things enough in the second image that some of those abstract shapes become more prominent. Taking the abstraction a bit further I was curious to see how those shapes played out inside a fairly simple grid. Those shapes fall into place more logically then I would have guessed. I’m not sure what’s to be learned here, but maybe there’s a bit more conformity going on then meets the eye at first glance.

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  • http://weightshift.com weightshift

    This makes complete sense actually — much like any other art, bringing a balance to the canvas and existing art is natural. We seek the spots that are empty to fill and enhance the nothing or the things that are already there.

    Street artists are after all, artists.

  • http://www.twitter.com/turuk Mark Turuk

    You might like the laser version of graffiti / tagging.

    http://www.pixelgallery.org

    Flash, so you'll have to navigate to Features, GRL…

  • http://twitter.com/jabbott JAbbott

    Thanks for the post – that's an interesting observation. I bet a lot of graffiti follows more design and art principles than folks realize.

  • http://loquat73.blogspot.com/ Paulo Pereira

    Interesting observation.

    Everyday on the Path train from Harrison, NJ the train passes an abandoned brick building that has been tagged, way over 100 times by different taggers. The concentration of the graffiti is in key places on the building. (By the way most of the graffiti faces the Path train, they want their tags to be seen and they are hidden from the public view while they are tagging). From far away they seem as though they are on top of each other. But I never tried to see if it actually conforms to a grid, which I'm sure it would.

    One of these days I need to drive there and take some good photos and post them.

  • http://killyrcar.com mckinley

    i've been posting some interesting photgraphs of train graffiti: http://killyrcar.com thousands more on the way.