Saturday, May 2, 2009

'Run, Blago, Run!': An example of 'creative vandalism'

I’ve always had a soft spot for what I call “creative vandalism.”
It’s still property damage, but it’s designed to elicit a laugh or a smile. Typical vandalism is usually graffiti done out of hatred or to mark gang territory or spread a tagger’s name around. Creative vandalism is more like a practical joke, a witty statement or a clever stunt.
Recently in Chicago, some artist has been spray-painting a stenciled portrait of disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on concrete and brick walls around town. The work of art has been dubbed “Run, Blago, Run!” because it shows the ex-governor running in his jogging clothes. Blagojevich, who’s facing federal corruption charges, is shown looking over his shoulder. (See Chicago Tribune article and NBC Chicago article and video.)
On Jan. 26, two electronic road signs in Austin, Texas, were changed by hackers. The signs had been warning drivers of construction ahead. But the hackers made the signs flash such messages as “Caution! Zombies Ahead!,” “Nazi Zombies! Run!” and “The End Is Near.” (See video on One Stop Video.)
In the Washington, D.C., metro area, artists sometimes paint “Surrender Dorothy” on a railroad bridge over the outer loop of I-495 near the Mormon temple in Kensington, Md. The striking architectural design of the temple reminds the artists of the Emerald City from “The Wizard of Oz.” (See Wikipedia entry.)
If only other graffiti artists could be as clever.

Photos, from top down:
“Run, Blago, Run!” graffiti (Chicago Tribune photo)
Hacked electronic road sign in Austin, Texas (AP photo)
D.C. area Mormon temple that inspired highway overpass graffiti “Surrender Dorothy”

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