A REPORT FROM THE PHANTOM ZONE
So I've almost stopped reading articles. In print, on-line... whatever.
All I look for is how many comments have been made. The comment section of an article says far more about an event and the ideas that surround it than any article can ever articulate.
The best example I have seen of this recently is Shepard Fairey's arrest that has made for something I did not expect, more people commenting about art than I've ever seen. Boston.com's article had 173 comments in one day, all about the nature of art in our society!
Here are some of the comments about Fairey's arrest that I have shamelessly appropriated, reordered, de-contextualized and edited:
This street artist is a fascist nazi.
Posted by Jeff from Boston
Oh, I see how it works: You start by defacing buildings and make us all live with ugliness and then proceed to make art and become famous because you are a media darling. Hmmm, guess I flunked out for not being the son of a wealthy doctor/lawyer, etc. What a strange time to be living in. The strangest of all is the fact that so many of these sociopaths flourish now.
Posted by Peter
He's a petty criminal. Why he's celebrated is known only to airhead liberals. I take that back - they have no idea why they do what they do. They're willing to accept a cult of personality around Obama, and Fairey's posters have been a key political propaganda tool. His style reminds me of the heroic style popular in the Stalinist USSR. Try googling "soviet heroic art obama" We don't need a Dems version of Castro, but we're stuck with him for 4 years at least. We'll see "socialism from above" and we can thank Fairey and his ilk for promoting a Democratic Party version of an authoritative regime in our country.
Posted by Chuckjones
Posted by Hang Up And Drive
Interesting that the artist gets arrested and Madoff is still at large in his luxury digs after absconding with $50 bil.
Posted by Samantha
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not surprised another liberal Obama supporter has done something illegal! Is there ONE, just one, liberal that obeys the law? I don't think so!
Posted by Keith
Typical Obamma supporter. Trying to make/steal money off other people's hard work and, to boot, has been arrested 14 times. Yup, you'd know he was an Obamma supporter even if you didn't know what his latest art theft was. If only he cheated on his taxes, he'd be up for a cabinet position.
Posted by sympathy
Does it surprise anyone???? Anyone connecated with BO is a crook, liar, tax evader, fraudlent, etc etc.
Posted by Bridgett
Street art does not necessarily mean spray paint or vandalism. Ask yourself why you tolerate the invasion of advertisements on every public surface just to sell you things you don't need or even want.
Street art is free art. Remember this the next time you safely fork over $17 at the MFA, if you even bother to consume culture at all.
Posted by Elsie
Seriously - to all of the people siding with Fairey, GET OVER YOURSELVES.. as a practicing artist and professional in the design world I find him EMBARRASSING... he doesn't even deserve to call himself an artist.. especially ripping of the work of others.. kudos to the BPD for arresting him
Posted by kim
Use the law as written to prosecute if the case is valid. If it is proven he committed the crime, he should receive the maximum sentence as it would act as a deterrant to help reduce the spread of this public crime that he advocates.
Posted by darren
No matter how old he is, black or white he should have the DEATH PENALTY or at least LIFE behind for bars for his acts. He knew what he was doing was wrong ! HANG HIM !
Posted by Polkin
And these are just a few of the tamer comments people made!
I don't think I could have fabricated a better piece about how people view politics or art than than the dialog occurring in the comment section of boston.com.
So check it out and leave a comment for yourself.
Images by Christian Holland and Matthew Gamber.