Piano Bombed

Midwest

(photos courtesy Fat Caps and Chrome)

Chicago is known for the combination of its excellent architecture and tough, gritty urban life. Both aspects of the city’s personality met briefly yesterday, when two graffiti crews tagged a long wall of the Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing at the Art Institute. While we would never endorse vandalism, there is no denying the visual power of the bright colors and riotous script dashed across Piano’s formal surfaces. The Art Institute, however, did not ponder the artistic merit of the tags. Cleaners from Graffiti Blaster were removing this tags within minutes. The tags, momentarily at least, renewed the debate about how graffiti functions, its artistic value, and its relationship to art institutions–no small feat for a few cans on spray paint. (Tip: Gapers Block via Fat Caps and Chrome.)

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