The Open Air Museum

Resources - The Open Air Museum: The world is a canvas... and there's alotta peeps who don't like it this way. But they're not gonna stop all the street artists until spray paint's been banned. That ain't happenin' anytime soon. Until that day, and traveler can take a trip to the open air museum just by taking a wrong turn down the right alley.

I've seen some pretty damned impressive art out on the streets, everything from random tagging, to wildstyle signatures, to full-wall murals, to Banksy-style political statements. Stencils like the one above are common these days, and it's likely you've seen this one before if you've spent any time touring the back alleys of the world. I took this particular shot in Amsterdam, just across the canal from the Reich Museum. For the record, I didn't even bother checking out the actual museum. Nothing against it for other peeps, but urban art's just more my style.

Now, here's the crazy part: graffiti's frakking everywhere. I mean everywhere! I've jumped off a train and found impressive murals hidden on concrete where no one--NO ONE!--would likely ever see it again. Just art, randomly out in the middle of nowhere and waiting for someone to come find it. The art changes drastically by culture and location, and the evolution in street art comes at a severely fast pace. One artist figures out a better method, and other artists jump on it like it's the last good hit of heroin the world will ever know.

Then there are the more famous spots for graffiti, like the Glebe Tram Sheds in Sydney, Australia [Flickr]. Damn! Cities like Austin welcome street artists, with many stores opening up their walls and bathrooms for free art. As it would normally be illegal, this proves to be a thorn in the side of enforcement agencies. "Wait, you mean you want them to graffiti your walls?" Heh, heh... how hard is to "get" the concept of free art? In thanks to Lili, I found out that Serge Gainsbourg had a wall outside of his house that was completely open for artists to come in and graffiti. Gainsbourg's smile in the photos of him in front of this wall say everything.

People pass by some of the most impressive art on the streets every day, and they completely miss it. Some of 'em notice. Some notice, and don't even see the art, thinking only that it's more trash cluttering up the streets. Others notice, and can't believe that everyone else can walk by without stopping. "Do you see this? This is amazing!" And then one day it's gone, with the art painted over or washed away. Like many things on the street, there's a terrible sense of transience surrounding this art.

Appreciate it while you can
...as all things end in blood and dust.

Song of the Day: [Click to Download]
Phazeman - Life Ain't No Dress Rehearsal
"Life Ain't No Dress Rehearsal" by Phazeman