Smoking Barrel’s Graffiti Criticism Corner, Florence Edition

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 political-minded graffiti that tends to appear specifically in the Florence 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.

When it comes to graffiti of this nature, Banksy pretty much has it on lockdown. Anyone else’s attempt at it just feels naturally contrived in the worst possible sort of imitative way. While Europe in general seems to have a higher concern regarding the privacy invasion of CCTV, it is really America that should be worried. And yet, we’re obsessed with putting ourselves on blast via various “social media outlets” (a phrase I’m convinced will eventually be as antiquated as World Wide Web).

Still, considering Italy has about two channels, RAI and Mediaset (owned by international parody Silvio Berlusconi), it’s no wonder the country is concerned with “stopping control”–not just on a camera level. The concentration of power, however, is not going to be moved by this derivative graffito that’s already been played in the U.K.

Graffiti Grade: Marginal

Location: Not sure, Florence isn’t that big, is it? Surely you could track this graffito down.

Smoking Barrel’s Graffiti Criticism Corner, Rome Edition

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 political-minded graffiti that tends to appear specifically in the Rome 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.
 
anti fascist graffito
 
One would think that international graffiti would hold something of a more intellectual flair. However, it would seem, this is a false preconceived notion to have. Case in point, is this little cherry from a rando wall on the streets of Rome, declaring, “Antifascisti Sempre,” which means “Antifascists Always.”

I don’t know much about Italian politics (who does, really?), but I do know that fascism was once a thriving form of government during the thirties and forties. Mussolini, was, in fact, the most fuckable dictator. Maybe this is why some Italians are still reeling from the effects of this era and feel the need to make claims about never returning to fascism again. And yet, as Shakespeare once said, “The lady doth protest too much,” an aphorism that holds true for this particular graffiti “artist” trying so hard to deny his political heritage.

Graffiti Location: Idk, somewhere in Rome

Graffiti Grade: Marginal 

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