Smoking Barrel’s Bushwick Graffiti Criticism Corner

In this edition of the criticism corner, we explore a new medium of graffiti: the chalk drawing. Generally used only by children in suburbia, it’s rather appropriate that this child-like form of expression and artistry would find its way to Bushwick. Written in pink in a somewhat legible hand, one would assume this was the work of a female–though one can never be too certain considering that gender is merely an illusion in this town.

 

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As for the meaning of the phrase, well, I suppose it’s easy enough to determine what the first three words are supposed to infer: people in Bushwick can’t give up on their dreams in large part due to delusions of grandeur. The addition of the word “bone” at the end might just be a result of hyper-charged sexual appetites in the neighborhood. It’s like a sexual form of Tourette’s.

Graffiti Grade: Marginal

Graffiti Location: Morgan Avenue subway platform, near Bogart entrance–see it before it’s erased!

Smoking Barrel’s Bushwick Graffiti Criticism Corner

In this semi-weekly series, I, Smoking Barrel/Genna Rivieccio (don’t make me choose an identity) will give you insight into some of the very coked out graffiti that tends to appear specifically in the Bushwick area. I will try to lend some sort of behind-the-scenes thought process to graffiti “artists” who genuinely believed what they were tagging was genius and/or made any sort of sense. At the end of each critique, three of the following grades will be given: Why are you torturing my eyes?, Marginal or I Want to Get What You’re Saying, But I Just Can’t.

 

diabetes-friend

 

While I admire someone who’s all too ready to criticize the corporate agenda, this Coke can near Wilson and Knickerbocker didn’t exactly incite me to feel any less inclined to drink soda. Like smokers, soda drinkers are rarely able to be convinced to stop consuming the addictive substance. Thus, this bid on the graffiti “artist’s” part to make passersby feel guilty for drinking this delicious, sugary, health-questionable product is somewhat sadistic.

Why make someone rue their life choices more than they already do–which is exactly what this can is trying to attempt? Its derisive “Share diabetes with your friend,” a play on Coke’s awkward “Share a Coke with…” campaign, is, to quote Cher Horowitz, way harsh. Frankly, if Bushwickians wanted advice about how to live their lives, they probably wouldn’t live in Bushwick.

Graffiti Grade: I Want to Get What You’re Saying, But I Just Can’t

Graffiti Location: Near Wilson Avenue and Knickerbocker Avenue

Smoking Barrel’s Bushwick Graffiti Criticism Corner

In this weekly series, I, Smoking Barrel/Genna Rivieccio (don’t make me choose an identity) will give you insight into some of the very coked out graffiti that tends to appear specifically in the Bushwick area. I will try to lend some sort of behind-the-scenes thought process to graffiti “artists” who genuinely believed what they were tagging was genius and/or made any sort of sense. At the end of each critique, three of the following grades will be given: Why are you torturing my eyes?, Marginal or I Want to Get What You’re Saying, But I Just Can’t.

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I hate to break it to Jeff or whoeva, but art is, unfortunately, not for everyone. Unless, of course, you’re in Bushwick and you dub the graffiti rantings of aspiring Neck Face types “art.” Furthermore, the only place on earth that truly adheres to the literal meaning of the phrase “Art is for everyone” is the Met, which allows you to see objectively fine works for a pay what you wish price.

As for the more symbolic meaning of “Art is for everyone,” which is to say that everyone can appreciate art, Jeff (who I may be falsely assuming created this graffito) could not be more off the mark, as most people, particularly those of “this generation” would much rather stare at porn on YouPorn than a masterpiece like “Guernica.”

Graffiti Grade: I Want to Get What You’re Saying, But I Just Can’t

Graffiti Location: Cook Street

Smoking Barrel’s Bushwick Graffiti Criticism Corner

In this weekly series, I, Smoking Barrel/Genna Rivieccio (don’t make me choose an identity) will give you insight into some of the very coked out graffiti that tends to appear specifically in the Bushwick area. I will try to lend some sort of behind-the-scenes thought process to graffiti “artists” who genuinely believed what they were tagging was genius and/or made any sort of sense. At the end of each critique, three of the following grades will be given: Why are you torturing my eyes?, Marginal or I Want to Get What You’re Saying, But I Just Can’t.

 

cc-face-life

 

It’s bad enough that we’ve got to listen to the barrage of Brooklyn blogs telling us how to be, where to eat and what to drink, but now, we’ve got an actual local Bushwick resident/graffiti “artist” telling us some bullshit about how we should “FACE LIFE.” For one, people in Bushwick don’t really need to be reminded to abide by this command when they’re the ones who’ve willingly chosen to endure living in a neighborhood that forces them to walk through fifteen different kinds of shit and vomit in order to get to the subway. If Bushwickians have anything on lockdown, it’s facing life. Sure, the area tends to have a carnival-like vibe that may suggest we’re not all for embracing what’s real, but rest assured, this isn’t the case.

No matter how motivational and inspiring the “artist” who tagged this believed him or herself to be, one should never have the gall to tell other people how to live their lives. When people want this, they’ll adopt Kabbalah or go to a shrink–so a “rousing” two-word urging really isn’t necessary, and in fact just adds to the contrived jank aesthetic of the Bushwick vicinity.

Graffiti Location: Cook Street between Bogart Street and Evergreen Avenue

Graffiti Grade: Why are you torturing my eyes?

 

Smoking Barrel’s Bushwick Graffiti Criticism Corner

In this weekly series, I, Smoking Barrel/Genna Rivieccio (don’t make me choose an identity) will give you insight into some of the very coked out graffiti that tends to appear specifically in the Bushwick area. I will try to lend some sort of behind-the-scenes thought process to graffiti “artists” who genuinely believed what they were tagging was genius and/or made any sort of sense. At the end of each critique, three of the following grades will be given: Why are you torturing my eyes?, Marginal or I Want to Get What You’re Saying, But I Just Can’t.

 

dead-bs

 

So Bushwick has this tendency to make you go one of two ways: Self-aggrandizement based on utter delusion or simply “DEAD.” Obviously, the “artist” responsible for this particular graffito felt the need to express that he or she belongs to the latter category. Who knows if it was written soberly or during a moment of intense drunken frustration with the nature of living in a place that glorifies even the most blatantly shitty output?

Whatever the circumstances, this person is clearly on the verge of or has already given up on life. And to be quite honest, one can’t really blame him or her. One envisions this person on his or her last leg of enduring the ennui of attending another new bar or another art opening or another literary reading. After a point, it’s just all so blasé. Much like this graffito.

Graffiti Grade: Marginal

Graffiti Location: Somewhere near Flushing Avenue and Irving Avenue