Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Not-so-little green men

Alleyway alien
London, ON
April 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
They lurk in the shadows of the city, hastily-painted creations usually perceived more as nuisances than art. While some of them pop up in the corner of your eye as you walk the streets, most are well hidden in alleyways, in the darkened nooks behind buildings, in the places most of us would never go.

Yet as I walk the downtown streets kissed for the first time in days by a warming springtime sun, I find myself veering, often, off my defined path in search of these hidden gems, painted by folks I'll probably never meet, but wish I could.

Don't get me wrong, there's graffiti and there's art. Badly scrawled tags and words I can't use on-air deserve to disappear as quickly as they first appear. Yet amid the chaos and the wasted spray paint, there are flashes of genius we'd do well to take in before they, too, disappear from the urban landscape. I suspect we need better filters to decide what does and does not contribute to the urban fabric.

I have no idea who painted this one. But I can't help but think whoever it is deserves to find another, perhaps more legitimate, permanent, and lucrative canvas to share their work. Because art can often happen in places you'd least expect. I'd hate to miss out because I was busy judging the venue.

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