Monday, January 14, 2008

In a gritty, urban sort of way

Seven weeks ago or so, rare-book dealer and Ypsilanti property owner Hedger Breed noticed a four-square-foot, stenciled graffiti piece spray painted on the side of his building at 117 Pearl St.
It's done in two colors, with a red heart and, painted in black, a screaming figure with a gun pointed at his mouth.
"In my opinion it's absolutely charming," Breed said, "in a gritty, urban sort of way."
So Breed decided to leave it there, because he considers it art.
The City of Ypsilanti disagrees.
"I have to be black and white, I can't be gray on this," said ordinance officer Ron Monroe. "I have to consider this graffiti."
This is something I know and something that's important to me," said Breed, who holds a degree fine arts degree from Eastern Michigan University and managed an Ann Arbor gallery in the 1970s.
"The main thing is it's charming, it's evocative. It reminds me of Banksy, the famous English graffiti artist. For all I know, he may have done it. ... Like most good art, it is a bit provocative."
Stencil graffiti does have a growing audience thanks to people like Banksy, an internationally known artist who has been in the news recently for works painted on walls in the West Bank and Gaza.(read more>>)

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