When I first started studying art I was taught that paintings have specific meanings. Often this “meaning”, whatever it was, would be the artist’s intent, or at least what critics or historians thought the artist’s intent was. This whole idea of “meaning” was treated as though it was something specific and objectively knowable and fixed, and it doesn’t take much thought to realize that’s pretty goofy. What a work of art “means” is in the eye of the beholder even if, when talking about art, it’s generally convenient to have some idea most of us can agree on. Or not. I’m not really sure what specific meaning I’m trying to get across here and if you think, hey, he’s making kind of a meta-comment on the nature of meaning and how flexible it is I’m just going to say, yeah, let’s all agree that I really am that smart.
Anyway that brings me to this:
I’m just amazed by how this artist has turned a postal delivery label into a work of art, into something that sends out their message. Every artist, whether they think about it or not, works within certain limitations: limitations of time, materials, space. For graffiti this is usually true in spades. Artists who tag buildings or spots on the street have to work fast, although they often have large spaces to work with. Here the work is confined to a small space, so small you might miss it, but it’s so vivid and so well done. That’s probably in part because the artist wasn’t as limited by time—whoever made this didn’t have to worry about getting busted by the cops.
Here’s another one that may be by the same artist.
I liked these so much I was tempted to pull them off and take them home with me but then I realized that whatever the message is it was meant for everyone. If I removed these pieces I’d change and limit the meaning, and I don’t think that was the artist’s intent.