Red Door with Tags

19970695216_89449b8aa3_cOn the way to meet a friend for coffee I walked by this door. I had to take a picture of it. Because my cell phone camera is shit I had to do a little editing to the photo. So to reveal the magic I will say this red door isn’t this bright red in real life.

I recognize the style of tag on the the very top of the door. It has this angular square handwriting style. Other than that I have no idea what any  of these tags mean. I’ve heard that they can be symbols for gangs. I have no idea. I just appreciate them for their aesthetic beauty.

To me this door is as beautiful as any painting by Franz Klein. He was a abstract expressionist out of NYC. Klein’s work was really a study of formal aesthetics. Stuff like color, texture, stroke, shape, line, etc. It’s fun to look at something that way and try not to read into it.

We are all hyper literal jerks sometimes. I certainly believe we can blame the Internet. Why not? It’s easy to blame this powerful force for everything. Doesn’t mean I don’t love the Internet or that I will stop using it.

For some reason most folks have a really hard time not seeing ducks and bunnies in the clouds. Our brains have evolved to make sense of everything we experience. Especially the visual. In the 21st Century we are inundated by visual imagery like no other time in human existence. Especially the kind of imagery that is man made or in the case of deep dream made by artificial intelligence.

I think this red door is a excellent example of public art. While it was most likely not commissioned but tolerated. Why? I bet it’s because the owners of this door know that within 24 hours of repainting the door there will be fresh tags and marks. Taking the old tags away only eggs on the artists to make more. By leaving the tags it makes it harder and harder to add more. It forces the taggers to write over their fellow artists work. A much harder social act than marking a virgin canvas.

As I edge towards the border of pretentiousness, if I haven’t already crossed it, I’ll end with this. Carrboro, North Carolina is a great place that tolerates and supports the arts in some really interesting places. Especially for a Town of it’s small size. This style is threatened a little more each year with the more new expensive properties with out of town owners that won’t let expression like this happen. I bet marks like this that show up on Greenbridge a block away are gone in a heartbeat.

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