How often do you walk by one of those community murals and feel like you are being “schooled” by obvious representational symbols purveyed by a well meaning but slightly overbearing school marm or your local Marxist? Oh, I get it; these big toothy gears that are catching the shirt of this man and pulling him in between the wheels and grinding him into mincemeat represent the capitalist system and the working man, right?
Other times you look at an artists wall and say to yourself, “Um, what?”
Tes One at work on “Drastic Park” (photo © Joey Clay)
It’s all good, of course, and community standards usually determine what is acceptable, offensive, beneficial, benign. The intention of the artist to articulate a message and their ability to effectively communicate is purely individual. So, consider for a moment the new piece by Florida-based Street Artists Tes One and Bask in St. Petersburg. Two markedly different artistic styles converge and some sort of cleaning machines are scrubbing away a firey palette of prehistoric animals.
Bask at work on “Drastic Park” (photo © Joey Clay)
The artists are calling it “Drastic Park”, are happy with the results and interested with your take on what it might mean. Tes One says that many people inquired about it’s meaning while the guys were putting it up and since they finished it. “We want the work to speak for itself,” he says, “Some of the local reactions already have provided interesting perspectives thematically ranging from corporate greed to oppression and gentrification. It’s been great to hear what others see in it.”
The guys say that St Petersburg has begun an initiative to have more public art in the city. Whatever the interpretation of the individual pieces, it’s good to see that the public has an opportunity to see new stuff, and naturally, to offer opinions.