|Engraving of Kilroy on the |
WWII Memorial in Washington DC.
|Was Kilroy from |
As Matt mentions in this week's podcast, the Allies were by no means the only ones using publicly exhibited slogans. Project Werwolf (German for "werewolf") was a Nazi resistance force that operated behind enemy lines as Allied forces swept through Bavaria. Steven Soderberg's 1991 film Kafka recreates some of that graffiti, and in a very strange case of life imitating art, criminal neo-nazi groups in the Netherlands have since co-opted the name in a modern, racist campaign against migrants. There is a long association of graffiti with hate crime that predates the modern era, and just in case it wasn't evident enough in the podcast: these are NOT the good guys.
|This book inspired generations|
That switch from political to social messaging is where comic book art had its biggest influence on the emerging art form. Comic books in the 1970s were consumed by almost all youth regardless of social or ethnic background, so spray-painted versions of Marvel superheroes were frequently included in the unsolicited murals of acrylic vandals in NYC and elsewhere. The bold lines and graphic impact of comic book art was the perfect muse, and much easier to mimic than the oil paintings in museums, and the preponderance of cartooning in modern street art is a testament to the lasting value of sequential art as an influence.
We covered a lot of ground in only 42 minutes, so here's a list of other things worth researching deeper that we merely touched upon:
Olek, the Polish Yarn Bomber.
LA based street artists, Retna, Risk, and Nathan Ota (aka Cooz).
Aaron Rose's documentary Beautiful Losers (mistakenly referred to as Beautiful Dreamers).
Tony Sliver's seminal documentary on graffiti, Style Wars.
Martha Cooper & Henry Chalfant's 1984 book Subway Art.
Norman Mailer's 1974 book Faith of Graffiti.
The Art in the Streets Exhibition at LACMA.
Art schools as diploma mills.
SCI-Arc, the Southern California Institute of Architecture.
If you've read this and want to know more, please tune-in, subscribe, or download to Pod Sequentialism with Matt Kennedy.