Farewell Douglas Coupland and Slogans 9,10 and 11

last blocksThis ‘monument’ of children’s lettered blocks were a component of a full room symbolic  representation of Coupland’s brain brilliantly conceived and executed by the artist using found objects. This is my final example of text-based art from this summer exhibition. The show closed on September 1 and I close this series today. It has been fun sharing Coupland’s art with you and I thank you for your comments and ideas.

Here is a view of downtown Vancouver as one leaves the VAG. (Click to enlarge).

downtownand here are Slogans 9, 10 & 11 chosen from so many more I haven’t shown:

Slogan 9Slogan 10

Slogan 11Please see my first post in this series for full explanation of all posts and of photo below: ‘Gumhead’. Also see my first ‘Slogans’ post to understand #9, 10 & 11.

Credits: thank you to Douglas Coupland and the Vancouver Art Gallery for images and wall descriptions used in this series.

Gumhead 2

All photos by clinock.

 

The 100 # 99 – going

going

This is the original image of #1 of ‘The 100series. Sprayed onto a particularly uninspiring example of city architecture in East Vancouver this single word “going” attracted me because of its carefully inscribed Grade 6 style of writing, so different from most urban wall graffiti. Its simple one word power of mystery, poetic evocation and pathos enchanted me.

I considered the obvious, that this was the beginning so it should also be the end. However, I am placing it at #99,  just before the cycle finishes, because I need to contradict the obvious.

going-gone2_2_2

I have made some changes to the image and use it here as the penultimate #99. I cropped and added text to the photo creating a poem of sorts, or perhaps more realistically, a primitive chant, of leaving, of departure…The illuminated ‘One’ was unintentional but when it happened it gave me pause…despite our going and separation we are still one, always one, here together…

going gone

going gone

going

going going

gone

going gone

gone going

gone going

gone

going going

gone.

the song of the sailor raising the sails,

the drums of the warriors leaving forever,

the pounding heart of the  refugee,

the hurt voice of lovers

walking away,

the boots of the restless

embracing the highway,

the cry of the imprisoned

as iron doors crash close,

the breath of the dying

on their final beds of light,

time, seasons, love,

friendships,

life.

Photo and poem by clinock.

Credit and thanks to the unknown street writer.

May The Fourth Be With You…again

May the Fourth

Looking, but not seeing

this leaping spring,

observed in surreal intensity

by the world

in your museum,

an incongruous anachronism

frozen in place and time,

stuffed stiff with allegiance

to moss covered empires,

your Freudian

hat and gun stand to,

but not with,

attention,

while across the street

cherry blossoms bloom

and all the human tribes

sing for peace.

Heroic statue, on guard

for the forgotten,

May The Fourth Be With You.

Redux from 2013.

Poem and photo by clinock.

Vancouver street art by unknown stencil artist and taggers, with thanks.

let’s face it #3. part 2.

Dumpster

More Faces from the walls and sidewalks of Italy, Mexico and my home city of Vancouver.

Spray paintings, stencils and murals…all a modern 2D equivalent of the 3D Faces shown in posts #1 and #2.

earphones1

The street artist reflects our faces and senses and how we interact with, or shut-out, our surroundings.

demos van

But the art or the reality of the face is always subject to the vagaries of time, weather and memory,

Mex mural 2

and together we face it, this strange life, through the senses that our eyes, nose, mouth and ears create.

Who sees the True Face

beyond the mask?

The mother, the babe, the lover?

Or none, ever?

not even the mirrored owner

who’s face has been

a relentless reflection

since birth.

 

Not even partners for life

or identical twins

reading each others mind

and knowing every line

of the others skin.

Not even the saint

who believes she has seen

the face of God.

 

The True Face is as veiled

as the True Name

and slumbers so deep

in the living essence

that it is only seen

clearly by the dying,

or in crystal visions

of the insane.

poem and photos by clinock.

Sincere thanks and credit to all the unknown artists represented here.

let’s face it #3. part 1.

Mex mural 3

Faces from the walls and sidewalks of Italy, Mexico and my home city of Vancouver. Spray paintings, stencils and murals…all a modern 2D equivalent of the 3D Faces shown in previous posts.

Road face

Some may be perceived as graffiti, some as street art and some as verging on fine art, but all are expressions of the artist’s fascination with the Face.

St kids

The face is ubiquitous in our urban environment, whether it be the living faces of people we brush against every moment as we move through our day or the static faces of the art of the street.

mural1

When we tentatively look into the face of the creased and mumbling old man on the bus, the beautiful young woman on the Sky Train or the spray painted features on the alley wall, we are entering an ancient ritual of human recognition of each other.

Mex mural 1

We silently ask, “Who are you my friend, behind the mask you wear?” And we ask, if only subconsciously, “What do the faces on this wall say about me and us and about the existential predicament we all find ourselves in?”

all photos by clinock

Sincere thanks and credit to all the unknown artists represented here.

let’s face it #2.

carved Mex face

The art of the Face in Mexico, on doors and walls, is not quite as intimidating as those in my previous posting from Italy. Most Mexican street faces are mellow, even friendly.  Obviously the culture and history is different although both are strong Catholic countries with shared religious beliefs. I’m uncertain how to explain the contrast in the expressions – any ideas?

door imp face

I love this little door elf, (or duende in Spanish), from San Miguel de Allende.

face knocker

And here is a noble knocker from the same city!

wall totem Oaxaca

This Oaxaca wall totem tries to induce fear but fails with an ancient humour.

Oaxaca wall face

Whereas this lintel demon from the same city succeeds quite well – perhaps it’s an Italian import?

I’m not an intrepid world traveler or educated in social anthropology but I have visited enough countries to know that some, usually more ancient cultures, have embellished their urban and domestic architecture with these sculpted faces invoked from realms of imagination and the past. I feel very much at home as I walk dusty, cobbled streets in the company of grotesque beings peering at me from walls and doors. I miss this here in prosaic Canada where the stencil, mural or graffiti face is the equivalent visual expression.

all photos by clinock