Monday, May 13, 2013

GNAR (Great Northside Artist Revolution) Sign Vandalism?



            Some people may think that Chevanston plays favorites. But it doesn't, at least when it comes to sign vandalism. This isn't a good look for GNAR (Chevanston isn't accusing GNAR of the actual vandalism since we don't have a hidden camera trained on the site in question). Street signs are there to function to inform motorists and pedestrians alike of the rules of the road. They are not supposed to double as canvasses for street art or self expression. Yes graffiti by definition means its somewhere where it isn't supposed to be. But by and large most graffiti is vandalism without artistic merit. What this sticker does is encourage more vandalism which will eventually obscure the function of the sign and create an eyesore. The question arises from the opposing side, who cares? Why would anyone care about sign vandalism? 

           A better question is why don't people care? Is our neighborhood, its safety and our city worth caring about? If it isn't why? Why do people think its okay to put stickers all over stop signs, mailboxes, storefronts, one way signs, etc? Sure there are bigger problems in the world and our society, but that doesn't mean that our fair city has to look down and out. Why are some people contributing to blight instead of working to decrease it? Those are important questions to think about as well. The above one way sign is at the Estes "L" viaduct. The one way sign is now just a boring plain one way sign. But are one way signs here to entertain us or are they there to tell us the street is one way? Walking around the Glenwood Arts District this writer did come upon another GNAR sticker on a mailbox. 

Please continue reading to see GNAR'ed mailbox. 

            One reason why this writer does care, is that as a child the city didn't look like this. This is not how the city is supposed to look. It isn't supposed to be covered in stickers. After awhile a sign will become so burdened with stickers that you won't even notice the sign anymore. 


             When the city paints a blue mailbox green after it is hit with graffiti it creates space that will continue to be vandalized over and over again. Why? Because it isn't a regular mailbox anymore. Its now a patchwork mailbox.The city means well; but it really is a huge disservice. What the city should do is either use color matched paint or remove the offending graffiti with Goof Off. 

            This GNAR sticker is in the patchwork mess area of the mailbox, since this is now an acceptable place to vandalize. Rumour has it that these stickers are purposely left blank so that people can write something within, thereby perpetuating vandalism. Are we supposed to use artistic license on one way signs, mailboxes, etc? Is it up to Chevanston to decide what is okay to deface or not or what is graffiti and what is street art? Nope. But most people know the difference, you know it when you see it. 


JeffreyLittleton said...

I definitely remember there being far more graffiti in pre-graffiti-blaster Chicago Jeffo.

At first thought GNAR was a 80s metal band but think it was actually GWAR.

Anywho.....I can't find your email on mobile version here, the gig I was talking about is at:

Nortside artist yours truly.

Philip McGregor Rogers said...
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