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Poster Boy caught! (?)

Lean On Poor, Posterboy


So apparently the elusive New York graffiti artist Poster Boy has been caught by NYPD. Real name: Henry Matyjewicz. But, to keep things interesting, the NYT tells us:

“Henry is one of many individuals who believe in the Poster Boy ‘movement,’ ” the man wrote later on Tuesday in an e-mail message, referring to Mr. Matyjewicz in the third person. “Henry’s part is to do legal artwork while propagating the ideas behind Poster Boy. That’s why it was O.K. for him to take the fall the other night.”

Skull, Poster Boy

I’m all for culture-jamming, and I certainly agree with Poster Boy’s comment that “there is a difference between what is right and what is just. If there is a law that is outdated, impractical, and/or immoral, people should have the right to challenge it." But then the asshole takes it too far: "Remember, slavery was considered legal at one point. I consider the world’s current modus operandi a modern slave system. I intend to challenge it in any way I can.” So basically not being allowed to engage in vandalism is tantamount to enabling slavery now? This sounds like the rants of an over-priviledged suburban brat. It also makes him sound straight and white. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but that comment is so fucking blind to the realities of almost everyone who isn’t white, male and straight, that it makes me really suspect of his intentions and concerned about his naivete. It makes his political culture-jamming seem more like teenage acting-out.

If "Poster Boy" is indeed more of a "movement" than a spoiled brat, then that would explain the varying quality of his work. In any case, I’m more of an Aakash Nihalani kind of guy anyways…

Aakash Nihalani


BONUS QUESTIONS: Do good street art and urban density go hand-in hand? Does Texan car culture dampen small-scale public art?

also by Ivan Lozano
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28 Responses

  1. theremin

    Shepard Fairey is no Spring Chicken. In fact, he is a privileged ,white asshole, and compared to poster boy… he sucks. Compared even to you, he Sucks. While I’m at it, I am sick of assholes listing their middle name as Hussein, and I am especially sick of any image even remotely resembling the shit that Obey boy cranks out, without much apparent thought. AP should sue the prick, and maybe send him to Guantanamo.

  2. Ivan L

    theremin, i couldn’t agree more with you about Fairey… When there’s a Photoshop filter that “you-izes” images you know it’s over.
    and Bill, I guess for the most part you are right. Here’s another counter-example though: the Yes Men. Unless you consider mid-30s to be teenaged… And unlike most of these young whippersnappers, these guys are doing some seriously smart shit that doesn’t come off as acting out.
    But yes, for the most part I agree with you as well.

  3. Trungpa Ricochet

    Shepard Fairey? That’s hilarious. I think somebody ought to paint his portrait. I imagine he looks like Peter O’Toole in the last few scenes in The Ruling Class. The artist should sign his name “Fonda Peters”.

  4. scratchnsniff

    So normally I would be right there with you given shit to the brooklyn beardo that lives in either Bushwick or Williamsburg has a trust fund and bitches about the oppressive nature of capitalism. Usually the ironic facial hair and watching of to many flight of the concords episodes makes for bullshit art. But in this case the posters are pretty cool. Some are stupid and sophomoric but
    every now in then they make you laugh your ass off on the way to work.

  5. theremin

    Definitely agree about the Williamsburg trust fund dip shits who have called themselves Commies over the last 10 years, or so. If Obama made a buck or two off Shepard Sugar plum’s posters, who cares? But to me personally, it hasn’t been worth the visual pollution I have endured, and the merchandisers and merchandising that is attached to the Obama campaign is bullshit. I had to file a claim on my credit card because my fing wife made me order her $300 worth of designer crap from the Obama store during the election, and the designers didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, and deliver. so f all of them, and yay Obama. Still, if I get one more email from Obama’s election campaign wanting me to buy an inauguration photo, or contribute money, I will tell the Prez to shove it and put them on the spam list. Such is the oppressive nature of capitalism.

  6. theremin

    Those posters might be the only art most of us can afford for the foreseeable future. Does hope fly, or fall out the window? I wish it to fly. but not out the window. That’s hope I’m talking about. the posters should be recycled.

  7. Asshole

    Madonna is the exact opposite of someone like Jean Genet, whose strategy was to go immediately to any place in the world where there emerged a truly revolutionary impulse (the Black Panthers in America in the late sixties; the Palestinians in the Middle East in the seventies), but as soon as he detected the first sign of co-option or institutionalization, he would not only abandon the movement but turn against it. Madonna also zeroes in on revolutionary moments (usually gay and/or black subcultural manifestations), but with the strategy of co-opting, neutralizing, commodifying, and ultimately exhausting and abandoning them. She is the ultimate example of someone who uses radical chic for exploitative and purely retarded ends

  8. theremin

    I had a dog named Bruce Madonna. He bit a kid,. So I let them send his head to Austin, even though he had his shots. He had kind of a big head, anyways. Especially for a dog that wasn’t terribly bright. To this day, I can’t help but talk with a lisp when I see a dog’s severed head, or cheap tamales. Poor Bruce.

  9. bruce

    that he would work so hard to evoke an emotion from someone he doesn’t know. I feel sorry for him. And I’m fairly sure this is not the emotion he was expecting. He never owned a dog, let alone one named bruce. Sometimes we are indeed better off dead. I expected better from you.

    Save me the reply that you expected better of me.

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