Touring the Other Side of Town, A Taste of Asheville Graffiti

When you first pull into a new town you have to trust your personal barometer; a series of individual metrics you have devised over time with which to measure its personality and state of mind.

For example, you may see how good the grilled cheese and tomato is at the diner, inquire whether there is an organized bowling league, ask if there are any dive bars with jukeboxes. Also is there an Olive Garden, can you buy fireworks, do children wear helmets when riding bikes, do tween girls wear Uggs, how many confederate flags are in the windows, what is the overall ratio of skaters to jocks, choppers to fixies, lawnmowers to yard furniture, tacos to fish-n-chips, tracksuits to chinos, tattoos to sports bras, pigtails to pigs?

It’s a personal formula, a mix of criterion that helps you to measure the world, and if we could be so bold, would help somebody else measure you.

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Nekst and Gus Isrich’s portrait. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

Our featured photographer today is known for checking out things like home made and semi-professional signage that announces important stuff in front of the VFW, Bob’s Big Boy, the car wash, and Latoya’s House of Hair.

Of special interest are those illuminated roadside box signs with the easy-slide letters that are always falling off – like the ones preaching hellfire out front of The First Baptist Church of Baconbit.  Clever upcoming sermon titles aside, if the church is offering marriage counseling on Thursdays at 6:30 or concealed weapons classes every second Monday at 7 pm or the Men’s Pancake Breakfast coming up on Saturday, Geoff feels like he’s getting some very important information to parse together about a community.

Naturally, he also likes to sample the local graffiti. And that is why we are here today, dearly beloved.

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Cash4, Avoid, Valet and Rezu (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

When Hargadon told us he was heading to Moogfest in Asheville, North Carolina a few weeks ago he also surmised he might check out its graff spots. Organic and locally grown, this aerosol outcrops on certain spots around town, especially the abandoned warehouses and back alleys in the River Arts District. Geoff loaded up his camera card and came back with a treasure trove. Not only that, he found local graffiti expert Mr. Zen Sutherland, who himself is a gold mine on the subject of aerosol and who helped ID the creators of these fine graffiti images.

Our sincere thanks to both for this great taste of Asheville. Burp.

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Nomad offers this petulant ascertainment on a post (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Dogman (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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This area is known locally as Trackside Gallery. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Valet, Stuk, Ahgen, Trek, Unknown. Also a car that might have a pack of Salem 100s in the glove compartment. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Berth. In the foreground and installation by a sculptor who studied at the University of Blairwitch (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Ahgen, Uret, Dogman (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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TFL Crew, Gus Isrich and helpful handle and hashtag. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Fisho, Amanda Wong, Sicr, Sjay (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Uret, Valet, Relek (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Firey Hell and damnation with Berth, GTB, Gyser, Gus Isrich, Wins. In the background the original burning monk by Dustin Spagnola. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Gus, Tribute to Hal, Valet, Fowl, Ahgen, Houla. On the background Dustin Spagnola’s tiger. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Fowl (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Uret (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Eaws (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Still Life with Chairs and Graff. (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Marze, Fowl, Ruin (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Kagn, Valet, Tribute to a fallen artist. Building 10 (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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Connie, Valet, Aside, Dogman (photo © Geoff Hargadon)

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