Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the colors of southie

It's been snowing all day today, but yesterday was beautiful and sunny, so I walked around my neighborhood taking photos for color and texture inspiration.


To say Southie is a neighborhood in transition is an understatement... the street our apartment is on is actually the last residential street before the blocks and blocks of empty lots, industrial warehouses and abandoned buildings that separates Southie from the seaport district and commercial docks. But in the other direction are dozens of multi-million dollar condominiums going up. Until recently, the only other building on our block was a dilapidated blue brick garage, though it was bulldozed last summer to make room for more luxury condos. There is an interesting juxtaposition between these new buildings and the vast stretches of industrial equipment, vacant warehouses, construction, trash and graffiti that sits literally alongside them.

south boston graffiti

It's something I know some people really don't like... I was walking to my car and heard a neighbor calling the building management to complain about the fact that there was graffiti on the side of another building visible from our parking lot. Personally the dilapidated emptiness was something I liked when we first found our apartment, and I am so intrigued by street art, graffiti and their place in the process of urban landscape aging.

graffiti in south boston
south boston graffiti
south boston graffitisouth boston graffiti south boston graffitisouth boston graffiti south boston graffiti south boston graffiti big peach!

The art vs. vandalism argument that surrounds graffiti is fascinating to me, and has been made even more interesting now that graffiti by Banksy and Shephard Fairey sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars. What determines whether paint on walls is a cultural masterpiece or nuisance? Why is a "Banksy" worth thousands while a "Bremner" mandates six months of jail time on Riker's Island?  Just some thoughts I had while trekking around snapping these :)


  1. I'm with you, Mae. So intruiging, and beautiful! Your pictures are amazing. Makes me feel like I'm there walking with you!

  2. So cool! Love that you can see the beauty in the every day sights of your neighborhood! Love the rust w/ the chippy turquoise paint!!!!

  3. i just wanted to let you know how inspirational you are to push me to do art more! i look forward to your posts everyday ... whether it's pictures of your studio/artwork/or little surprises like this.
    at your commentary about the juxtaposition in your neighborhood, i def agree with you. there's something about rustic sights & texture that appeals to me in these neighborhoods. although i think the mood of these places on a sunny day is much different from a drab & dreary one, haha.

  4. Such good questions and reflections Mae... (Banksy vs Bremner). I love these superimposed colours...
    It's all art to me. xoxo

  5. Mae, The yummy grunge of peeling paint and random words, thank you for the graffiti inspiration today!