Sunday, June 9, 2013

Taking it to the Streets: Part I

Years ago, when I worked in UMKC's Financial Aid office, one of the coordinators warned me off Athens.  She complained that it was a "dirty city," that she hadn't liked it at all.  Well, by the time I made it there, they'd hosted the Olympics, and of course this had an impact on the state of the city.  However, I couldn't help but feel that the crumbling buildings and the graffiti were part of what she found objectionable, and these were partly what I found charming (also helping: the friendliness of the Greeks in general, the hotness of their men, in particular, their food - OH GOSH THE FOOD! - I could go on.  I love Greece).  But then, I AM an art teacher, which not only means I have a tendency to be a little weird, but also that I've studied street art before.
Over the years as I've traveled, I've taken pictures of the street art I've seen.  There's not as much in Asia as there is in Europe.  However, I was pleased to discover Ulaanbaatar - which, admittedly, seems more European at times than Asian - has a flourishing street art scene, and a lot of it is quite good.

I particularly love the clever ones, such as this one.  I love the use of the location, the pairing of something 3-dimensional with the painting.  Perversely, because sculpture is not something I am good at, I love sculptural installations most of all, such as Slinkachu's miniature installations.  Most of them have such an amazing sense of humor about them, and it's so unexpected to run into something like that - it's like the art equivalent of a street festival or a flash mob.

This one and the next were - presumably - by the same artist, since they bear the same style, sense of humor, and tag - Renard - although I can't seem to dig anything up about him.  The second example, Monsters Everywhere, is right around the corner from this random statue of the Predator.
I have been excessively lazy today (I ditched church, read, and baked enchiladas), and yesterday I went exploring and watched a jazz show, but nothing I could flesh out a full blog over.  So here we are.  It's not a total coincidence as the Alliance Française is hosting a street art festival this week, and I'm taking my darlings, my 8B students, to see it, so you can expect Part II later this week.  Stay tuned.
Also, I've begun to prepare/panic in earnest over the summer.  In two weeks from now I should be in Lhasa.  I'll also be hitting Nepal and Bhutan before coming back here.  The panic is because I'm going to be squeezing blood from stones by the time September 20th rolls around, a date that I am sulking over but I'll say no more on that, because it wouldn't be professional.  I'm also looking for someone to ghost post for me while I'm in Tibet and don't have access to blogger.  If you're a friend and not a random reader and you're interested, I'll send you postcards or something.


  1. Hi becky,

    I can ghost post for you while u r in Tibet. But you must teach me how to ghost post you in your blog. Also can I be your partner for salsa in TUUL if you still looking for someone?

  2. Thanks for the offer, Chinges, but a friend actually showed me how to schedule my own posts, so I'm sorted! I'll let you know about the salsa - not sure when I'll get around to it. Probably not until after school starts again. Always good to hear from you :-)