Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In Memoriam . . .

While out rambling around this afternoon in the city of Brest, way out at the far western end of France, I was somewhat surprised to find this graffiti tribute to Michael Jackson. I cannot say I was a fan, neither the music nor the ever stranger lifestyle spoke to me on anything other than a peripheral level, but one could not help but acknowledge that he was an important figure for large numbers of people the world over. As graffiti goes, I thought this one was really pretty well done . . . what do you think ?
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26 comments:

@eloh said...

It is very good. I feel about the same as you concerning Michael, sad though.

robert said...

As music starts where language ends, found myself sometimes listening to his songs, using them once or twice as parts of a 'love letter' ;) I wrote.
Nice piece of art, again impressed by your ability to see many beautiful things indeed.
Please have a nice Wednesday.

louciao said...

I find the head close-up you framed has a lot more impact than the graffiti as a whole. A case of less is more. And that crack running through it is so wonderfully symbolic.

The Sagittarian said...

I agree, I never had that much of a fanatic feeling for the guy. Hvaing said that tho' he had a big impact on fans and musicians alike, and sadly its a shame he was too dumb to keep away from sycophants and drugs!
Great photos tho' as usual! Cheers.

ladydi said...

Amazing art work!

The Panorama said...

That is really good. Thanks for sharing this. Am a huge fan of Michael:)

Adam said...

The music was great - until the 90s!

The graffiti is excellent too, but the tag is a little overcomplicated. What on earth does it say?

Roxana said...

never liked him, but yes, the graffiti makes one wonder - lovely images as well!

Selina Kingston said...

The grafitti is pretty damn fantastic. Your photos aren't bad either !

nathalie in avignon said...

In Brest? Oh my!

Adam's question is an interesting one. Beyond the obvious "king of pop", try as I might, I can't make sense of the rest of the graffiti. At first glance they look like letters but then I can't decipher one single letter there. Strange.

Don't count me among Jackson's fans. And I find rather pitiful the way this handsome young man wore himself to death in trying to get rid of his black features in favour of some white ideal. He's a real symbol of the damage racism does.
Still now, "whitening" creams do an awful lot of damage to African skins. How many more years or generations before white skin and features cease to be the ideal standard?

Nathalie again said...

Owen, back on the artichoke throwing event, you MUST go and see my friend Cergie's blog on Cergipontin.

In her post dated 7th August (follow this link :
http://cergipontin.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2009-08-10T00%3A05%3A00%2B02%3A00&max-results=5 ) she pictured a ceiling painting in the monumental staircase of Chateau de Brecy where children throw artichokes at visitors.
Such a mural in such a grand decor, it's just unheard of!
You must see it!

Steve said...

I feel a degree of ambivalence towards Michael Jackson but can't deny the huge effect he had on the planet.

TechnoBabe said...

I agree, graffiti can be interesting, and this one shows someone had some talent and shared his or her feelings about the king of pop in an artistic way.

Peter said...

What you write in the post, could be my comment! :-)

Eric said...

I have very mixed feelings about MJ. Part of me weeps at the talent wasted in a life of weirdness and oddity. Another part of me recognizes what a huge impact he had on the world around him through his music.

The artwork shown here is stellar though, even if I (like so many others) am unable to decipher whatever it is supposed to be saying. I think it's too bad that graffiti gets a bad rap. There are some really talented artists, and this one in particular is one exceptional artist paying homage to another exceptional artist. Nicely done.

jeff said...

Je ne suis pas un fan de M.Jackson mais je dois dire que bons nombres de ces morceaux swinguent pas mal ! ! ! Ce garçon s'est donné corps et âme à la musique, au spectacle, au show, dans l'excès et les limites qu'il a souvent dépassé ! Je ne peux pas dire que j'ai été affecté par sa disparaition, mais que dire d'une personne qui arrive par son seul talent à fédérer nombres degénérations à travers le monde entier ! Il est incontestablement, même si on ne l'aime pas, le "king of pop" !...
Le graffiti est superbe par ses couleurs et son design... J'aurais tendance à dire en mauvais critique que je suis que "King of pop" aurait mérité un graphisme plus soigné, plus condensé et que l'ombre de M. Jackson est peut-être mal placée ! Mais il n'en reste que l'auteur de graph a un sacré talent et une bonne inspiration pour avoir pensé à mettre le chanteur en silouhette !
Sacré Owen! Tu offres là une belle photo et belle image d'un hommage réalisé par un presque anonyme !
Bravo l'artiste !
Au fait Owen, pour en revenir à mes moutons, tu passes ou a passé de bonnes vacances ? Et un truc aussi !... Ne pourrais-tu pas essayer de faire comme Nathalie et proposer tes textes en deux traductions ! je sais que ça fait énormément de boulot mais pour les incultes comme moi de la langue anglaise cela serait bien agréable ! Avec 274 followers, tu peux essayer de faire un petit effort ! Non ?
Allez, je te laisse tranquille! ! !... Tisane bien cher Owen et à bientôt !
Ciao !...;-)

Jenny said...

Hi there,

I have turned my blog into a private blog and I just sent you an invitation. But it might have been in Swedish. I tried to change language, but I am not sure if it worked. :S

I really hope that you want to continue following my blog anyway, despite the language mix-up.

/Jenny, Cinnamon

Karen said...

I feel the same about Michael Jackson. His music was ok but the lifestyle and surgeries and strange lifestyle made his sudden death not a surprise. Sad, all the same. I do like the impact of the silhoette in the first photo and enjoy the vibrancy of the second, although I, too, have no idea what it says, if anything. Interesting subject for the day.

SP said...

I think I'm with the majority in feeling fairly indifferent towards his lifestyle but that's a pretty creative tribute nonetheless. Thanks for sharing!

Gaia said...

Thank you for sharing, I was and am a great fan of Michael. His music, his dance. He fused both genres and cultures into his music. I could not bear to look at him in the later years.. and I did not follow closely to what was happening in his life. I had my own issues to deal with.

But now that he is gone, and you start listening to some if songs he wrote .. they are just so heart wrentching, inspiring from a very sad man.

the watercats said...

hahahahahahahahahahahahaaaa!!.. Look at the massive pair of white trainers!..lol

Owen said...

Hi Everyone, thanks for dropping in here... I guess the question I should have asked was : Can anyone make out what the large word(s) in pink, orange, yellow and red says ? I have stared at this for a while and it just isn't hitting me... it must say something, right ?

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Hey WaterKits, glad you got a kick out of those trainers... it is quite a work of art, eh ?

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Hellow Gaia, welcome, he definitely touched people all over the place, as this work in an obscure corner near the port of remote French town attests...

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SP, regardless of the subject matter, I think a graffiti painting of this size and quality of execution would have caught my eye... would love to see this sort of thing for Frank Zappa or Jerry Garcia or Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison, etc... Jackson's life was just a bit too weird for me, all the surgery, etc...

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Hey Karen, so the word(s) at the center of this piece remain a mystery...

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Hi Jenny, thanks very much for sending me an invite, have just signed in for the first time... hopefully things will be more peaceful like that...

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Salut Jeff ! Ah, je vois que tu es en bonne forme ! La tisane coule en flottes... on vient de revenir enfin à la maison après 600 kms de route hier, petit à petit je vais reprendre des habitudes de maison et boulot et famille et blogs que j'ai en peu perdu pendant ce mois d'août en dehors de tout... je promets rien pour les textes bi-langues, c'est déjà bcp de temps ce sacré blog, fait dans le moments perdus des journées déjà bien chargées, du temps passé en traduction serait moins de temps disponible pour sortir voir ce qui se passe sur tous les autres blogs... y compris LIB, mais bon, à voir... oohh là, que c'était bon en Brétagne... des cotes d'une beauté à couper le souffle, et ça fait mal de partir et revenir aux réalités de la vie, le boulot... à bientôt... pixpote

Owen said...

Hello Eric, welcome, yeah, I'm still trying to figure out what it says too... I remember the Jackson 5 on TV when I was really young, who could have guessed the strange directions things would take. Thanks for dropping in here !

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Peter, hey, great, that way we save time... hope all is well with you, that your summer went well... à bientôt...
:-D

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Hi Technobabe, alot of graffiti to me are just ugly eyesores with little or no talent in them, but I think whoever did this one is an artist...

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Hey Steve, I guess time will tell what impact he may have had...

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Hey Nathalie, couldn't agree with you more, despite his considerable musical and dancing talents, he was just so far out there on the scale of not natural that I can't relate at all to the phenomenon. The message here is a puzzle for sure.

Many thanks for the tip on artichokes on Cergie's blog, am on my way over there as soon as I finish answering these messages here... and will be by your place soon too !
:-D

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Hi Selena... THANKS !!!

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Salut Roxana... visually, colorfully, the overall piece works for me, like the first bite into sushi with horseradish spice on it that sort of explodes in one's mouth with flavor, this did the same in my eyes...

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Hi Adam, I really haven't got a clue, I've been looking at this thing every which way, even tried holding it up to a mirror, but still can't decipher it... maybe that was the artist's intention ? To leave an incomprehensible message ?

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Dear Panorama, many thanks ! You are very welcome... :-)

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Hi Diana... I thought so too...

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Hey Saj, I think you've hit the nail on the head, as we've come to expect, the sycophants got the better of him apparently...

Owen said...

Lynne, I was wondering if anyone would notice the crack, I thought it was totally symbollic... I wonder if the artist planned it that way, or if it was just hazard ?

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Hi Robert, I'm afraid the music never did much for me, but I know it worked for alot of folks... many thanks. Have just a few more days before the whirlpool of work starts up again... many thanks...

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Hey Eloh, indeed, a very sad story... that apparently touched a wide range of people around the world...

Nadege said...

I never thought I would actually one day find graffiti pretty but this mural is pretty amazing.

seanjonesfoto said...

awesome capture! i love it! "Sh'mone!" :)