Monday, May 25, 2009

Beauty and the Beast . . .

Paris has that eternal reputation for beauty and light; but as in any large city today anywhere on Earth, one can rest assured of stumbling on surprises. As with a few earlier photos posted below (see "Paris : City of Blight"), not all is always rosy and gay in gay Paris. Sometimes ugliness is encountered in unexpected places. Sometimes ugliness radiates a certain beauty. Sometimes ugliness, when tinted with the acid dyes of hatred, venom, fear, and violence, is just plain ugly, with no possible redemption.
Some people might consider this truck with its orange and yellow mural an eyesore. Others might consider it a work of urban art. I have mixed feelings. What do you think ?



Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I'm not against urban art but this truck does nothing for me.

Steve said...

Urban camoflage... drop it into an inner-city somewhere and the whole thing would turn invisible.

joo said...

I don't really know if it's art,but it's better to see it on the van then on the freshly renowated wall of beautiful old building:)

Batteson.Ind said...

There are aspects of graffitti that I love, when created well. The thing is, it's like any other art, where is the line between 'good art' and 'bad art'?.. something that deals with self expression is a dangerous thing, so far as you are bound to pee people off somewhere along the line. Yes I find hateful, racist, sexist etc comment in any form repulsive, but, if they were written well, in another language that I didn't understand, I would probably find them beautiful.
Not sure I've been able to articulate what I'm trying to say..(as usual)..
I like some graffitti!.. (that's what I should have written). Nice shot too by the way!

nathalie in avignon said...

Well I have mixed feelings too but what I like about it is that you can believe that the truck owner chose to have his vehicle covered in graffiti - not so for most home owners who see their walls covered in it.

... In fact, think of the nightmare if mad graffiti makers started painting on cars rather than on walls? The fact that they don't says something about respect of social codes, doesn't it? Street walls are seen as open urban spaces belonging to all whereas cars are seen as private property. Isn't that an interesting social convention?

Nathalie H.D. said...

Owen, pas de Prévert pour célébrer les roses fanées mais du Brassens qui parle du vieillissement:


Marquise, si mon visage
A quelques traits un peu vieux,
Souvenez-vous qu'à mon âge
Vous ne vaudrez guère mieux.

Le temps aux plus belles choses
Se plaît à faire un affront
Et saura faner vos roses
Comme il a ridé mon front.

Le même cours des planètes
Règle nos jours et nos nuits
On m'a vu ce que vous êtes;
Vous serez ce que je suis.

Peut-être que je serai vieille,
Répond Marquise, cependant
J'ai vingt-six ans, mon vieux Corneille,
Et je t'emmerde en attendant.

Je ne sais pas si tu connais cette chanson mais elle mérite d'être écoutée.

Laurie said...

It may mean something entirely different in France, but if the gallerie behind is a gallery, could this be a vehicular advertisement for the amazing 'yoof' [youth] culture exhibition inside? Note the intended irony . . .

Also, is that a poster for the exhibition on the lamp post to the left of the vehicle?

Just a thought


Anonymous said...

I personally don't like graffiti to be honest. I do like the colours though!

jeff said...

Et bien, j'essaie d'imaginer ce camion en couleurs d'origine et je pense qu'il est bien plus beau et original de la sorte ! L'art doit pouvoir se déplacer...
Entre paranthèses, j'ai la chance d'avoir le soleil... mais tu as la grande chance d'aller voir des super expos comme celle de Warhol !... 'peut pas tout avoir !

Au fait, je me demande si je vais bien pouvoir passer au filtre "Owen" pour voir mon commentaire ! C'est un peu comme quand tu souffles dans le ballon !...

Ciao Owen ! M ister Owen !

Lynne with an e said...

Whether or not I can appreciate the colours and composition of any given piece of graffitti, the question has more to do with the defacing of personal and/or private property. It's the in-yer-face F-U attitude that is disturbing, as it is meant to be.

jeff said...

Bon, tu connais le dicton... si tu ne viens pas à ...
Mais pourquoi je dis ça moi au fait ?
Ta camionnette, c'est pas un sous-marin des keufs ? Un blue submarine !

Ciao collègue "blogger" !

Co MM ent M oderation has been enabled. All co MM ents M ust be approved by the blog author. :)

nathalie in avignon said...

Thank you Owen for your two poems about roses. I was quite impressed by Reptiles and Roses.

The one that comes to my mind is in French by Pierre de Ronsard:

Mignonne, allons voir si la rose...

Mignonne, allons voir si la rose
Qui ce matin avait déclose
Sa robe de pourpre au soleil,
A point perdu cette vêprée,
Les plis de sa robe pourprée,
Et son teint au vôtre pareil.

Las ! Voyez comme en peu d'espace,
Mignonne, elle a dessus la place,
Las, las ! Ses beautés laissé choir !
Ô vraiment marâtre Nature,
Puis qu'une telle fleur ne dure
Que du matin jusques au soir !

Donc, si vous me croyez, mignonne,
Tandis que votre âge fleuronne
En sa verte nouveauté,
Cueillez, cueillez votre jeunesse
Comme à cette fleur, la vieillesse
Fera ternir votre beauté.

Beth Niquette said...

Well, I have to say--as a teenager, fresh 1960's America, I find that truck delightful.

I'm not sure I'd want to drive it myself, but I really like the colorful movement it creates just sitting.

ladydi said..., I don't think it's my cup of tea.

Margaret Pangert said...

WHen you loook around the truck, the area is quite elegant, maybe the 7th, 16th, 17th arrondissement, Le Marais? That's what makes the truck look so garish. It's all in the setting. I like the design on the side more than the "skunky" writing on the cab.

babbler said...

This photo is what I would call a finished work of art. The truck, however, is not yet finished. The front cab section needs a bit more of the yellows and reds to make it really POP. The hood and wind wing above the cab have so much potential! The hubcaps could be freshened up too. Then, the owner could put a brand name of his business on the truck and it would be an ultra hip and up to date form of rapper era advertising, which is as mainstream as you can get. There is nothing at all wrong with this modern picture of our modern times! Love from Mrs. Slug

The Sagittarian said...

Well, my initial reaction rhymes with "truck"....

Owen said...

Amanda, I'll bet you meant : Duck ! Exactly, that's it. I knew someone who was working on a series of artworks under the name "Fup Duck Productions" once, maybe that's what you're thinking of ???

Dear Mrs Slug,
A pleasure to read you here, and well said, there is a difference between the photo and the subject itself... the truck could still well stand some finishing touches.

Hi Margaret, it was in the 9th, on the Rue des Martyrs... appropriate somehow...

Beth, it really is in motion... it grabbed my eye right away. Thanks for dropping in !

LadyDi, well, I understand, I have mixed feelings also

Chère Nat,
Many thanks for the song and poem ! We had a Pierre de Ronsard rose bush at our old house, and there was a French postage stamp with Ronsard's figure on it back in the 1920's or 30's I think. I wonder whether the truck owner was consulted before the painting occurred, I've seen alot of small trucks that have been totally covered in "tags" around Paris. True, they tend to leave people's cars alone, but it seems that trucks are fair game, as well as any public wall. I hate alot of graffiti when it is a public eyesore, but once in a while a piece just astounds me with its creativity. I like the colors here, it is better than alot of what can be seen. Jerome Mesnager and his "Homme Blanc" figures are my favorites though.

Jeff, tu as tout compris, c'est un film des "Coleopteres" qui se préparent, The Blue Submarine... bientôt dans des cinemas pres de chez toi...

Lynne, I imagine you saw a fair amount of similar things around NYC recently... definitely "in your face"...

Rain... glad the colors work, if not the graffiti more generally.

Hey Laurie, not sure what the poster was, I was too occupied with the truck, and didn't stay there long... was on another mission at the time... the gallery was all shut up, but maybe; perhaps this truck delivers the artwork for expos ?

Watercats, did you have anything to do with the storm that just dumped all this water on us tonight ??? Got a basement full in the bargain, which kept me from getting to the "tag" you left for me, but it is not forgotten, I promise... anyway, I think I follow what you're saying !

Joo, yes indeed, the old question, "But is it art"... I agree, better on an old truck than on a new building, I hate seeing alot of ugly wall graffiti, but this one worked for me on a visual level...

Steve, hmm, this was inner city Paris already, and it stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb; needs to work harder on the invisibility spell, or its surroundings haven't adapted yet.

Lone Grey,
I'm sure plenty of people would not like this image, garrish and abrasive as it is. Is there much graffiti where you are?

And from a squirrel's perspective, I'm sure most trucks, especially brightly painted ones, are probably most terrifying and to be avoided at all costs, as they are well known perpetrators of making "road pizza" out of squirrels... I can understand your aversion. Please don't let it put you off from coming back though, I'll try to find some more squirrel-friendly images. Well the woods photos a few posts back were better maybe?

To one and all here, THANKS for stopping by today ! As you can see, this is a tolerant place, slugs, squirrels, and humans of all descriptions (if they behave themselves) are WELCOME...

Blind Fly Theater said...

It might be an eyesore if I were in the trance of timeless Paris... but seeing it here from afar, I see it as beautiful.