QRST Flowers and Ephemerality of Life and Death

We see a lot of ugly and pretty things on the street – that’s just the range you will run into in the glorious public sphere. Hell I saw a guy almost get killed by a double decker NYC tour bus on Friday at dusk on 15th Street and 5th Avenue, no lie. Dude just decided he should jay-walk-jog across the street and ended up realizing his unwitting mistake and running away at top speed in front of the bus for about 15 feet while it was jamming on its brakes and throwing those camera-gripping tourists forward in their seats.

No one flew off the top deck though. And I didn’t see any cameras or fanny packs land on the pavement.  The 22 year old chubby collegiate fresh-faced apple-cheeked white boy who caused it all kept running until he could get between cars to his left and cut to the sidewalk.

That would have been ugly. Preppie road pizza.


QRST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On the other hand, Street Artist QRST has had a very pretty turn recently – painting flowers. Yes. Also framing them and posting them on wooden utility poles. They have been appearing in different locations around Brooklyn recently and we contacted him to see if he was feeling okay. He said yes but he’s been thinking about death a lot lately. And flowers.

“I realize that placing small, quiet pieces out in a world of screaming traffic, crowded sidewalks and enormous murals is like being silent in a room full of yelling people,” he says of the new campaign that features fresh sunflowers and lilies and that will be followed by more dying ones soon – a way of acknowledging the normal cycle of life and death. “We can all watch them decay together,” he explains of the existential Street Art bouquet,”to wilt and slough off into nothing, just like a flower should.”


QRST (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Of using flowers as a subject for art on the street QRST says, “They’re beautiful and weird looking, complicated and easy and trite all at the same time. They’re a strange, very temporary currency. They’re for happiness and sadness and ends and beginnings and apologies and rememberings.”

For those of you tempted to pick these to create an arrangement of your own, beware; they will probably die in the process. “The pieces are designed to self-destruct if someone tries to remove them,” he warns, “that’s part of the point.” So enjoy them for the moment. Then the moment will be gone.

“You can’t own a flower, not really,” says QRST. “Even uncut the best you can do is watch it run its course, a tiny encapsulated version of everything you’ve ever set your mind to, everyone you’ve ever known, every person that is here right now.” Meanwhile, please stay on the sidewalk and cross when the when the sign has that little white walking figure illuminated.


QRST (photo © Jaime Rojo)


QRST (photo © Jaime Rojo)


QRST (photo © Jaime Rojo)


QRST (photo © Jaime Rojo)



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