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Documenting the Baltimore Renaissance
The Up Life
I notice CEDA and DUME tags all over town, as I ride my bike, the Light Rail, they’re everywhere. Seeing them makes me thing about these guys traveling all over Baltimore, noticing the most random parts of the city’s infrastructure. I am not a 100% fan of graffiti, but large tags that have a certain identity, like these, really add to Baltimore’s identity as a city. Just my 2 cents.
The thing with Graffiti is that it’s pretty much just about how great it looks. The colors—the shapes—the way it’s all arranged—the riffs on tradition—on genre. So when it looks great, it is great. Making a name big or telling an inside joke is way less important, and if that’s all there is, I get bored. Nope, I need the artists to stun me visually. This work is great looking.
To me this thread is core to what I hope for with What Weekly, and what I hope to find in my city. You’re exploring our culture in a way that makes it seem both exotic and accessible at the same time. What’s better? It also seems like us—the people in this city. The video—the production itself, especially the following them around bits, worked best when it was like tagging too.
I’m a freely admitted square… so it will come as no surprise that I would ask the question: So what if 100,000 people see your made-up “street-name” painted along I-95? What has been accomplished?
I think it’s one of those, “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey type deals.” Why does anybody produce any kind of art? To sell it? Perhaps. But often times not. I think my friend Lee Boot would have a great answer for this.
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