ARTEZINE

-- A Cyberspace Review Of The Arts

Volume 20.04
June 14, 2013



(Street Art, Astoria 2014-15)
(Street Art, Astoria 2015-15)
We are going through an interesting change of the weather with street art, by which I mean to include art put up on a outdoor wall for public viewing, whether it's standard graffiti, tagging, elaborate painting, mere vandalism, or even conceptual art (or, 'NOT ART' as it calls itself in Astoria, however helpless against implacable interpretation.)

Graffiti was supposed to be the sign of a declining neighborhood, and has been universally deplored and persecuted by politicians, bureaucrats, and police, but in fact Astoria, where the pictures below were taken, is being strongly gentrified, if only by being in the money aura of hot, hot, hot Long Island City. In New York, throughout the 20th century and going on still, art, artists, and associated bohemianism have proved to be the shock troops of gentrification. But everyone knows this. Astoria is hardly unique in this regard.

The particular area where most of these pictures were taken is called 'Wellington Court', itself an oddly shaped street containing its own completely-enclosed corner, near 12th Street and 30th Avenue, by and large the locale of small houses down near the projects and various industrial buildings. The name refers as well to art in the immediate neighborhood, which has spread a bit up and down adjoining streets. The flowering of street art in this area may have something to do with the replacement of 5 Pointz by yet another ice-cube-tray residence for the inpouring gentry, and, of course, the aforesaid change in the winds of culture.

The art is regularly replaced; what is shown here has already disappeared (most of the 2014 work) or will soon disappear (most of the 2015 work). Besides, the paintings change constantly and play hide and seek behind cars and trucks, and some are even hidden in alleys and back yards. No catalog of these works seems definitive.

Probably the artists and their project will soon be moved on as well. But so it is with living things. If you seek the permanent, go see what is buried in the museums and galleries.

Herewith some URLs behind which to pursue our subject. Plus, many, many additional pictures of works not represented in this article.

https://instagram.com/indeliblefunk (MAST)
http://www.givemeastoria.com/mastgraffiti (interview)
http://queens.brownstoner.com/2012/07/art-on-the-street-public-murals-in-welling-court
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.314843935196291.93250.220731791274173&type=3
http://thelostobject.com/ (The Lost Object)

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text and pictures by Gordon Fitch, 2013

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ETAOIN
June 14, 2013