This Has to be a Different “Pear” Right?

IMG_0453, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Back in 2007 I saw some pear taggings that really bothered me. This one is a bit different because it looks to be on an abandoned building (on 9th St. in Shaw) and it’s obviously more artistic. What do you think of this one – art or graffiti?

17 Comment

  • it looks like my fathers version of art. its such a shame so much street art hasn’t grown since 1982.

  • same pear. if you see (or notice) a lot of them you will see a fairly wide range of styles.

  • art of graffiti…. ugh. Are you sure you should be writing a city/urban blog?

    It’s gotta be the same cat. They’re both straight letters, and from the can control on the old tag and from the execution on this, you can tell its a graffiti writer. People rarely change their name, unless they’re just starting or are so old that they don’t have to prove anything by writing the same name every time.

    A lot of people don’t like the single color “tags.” It’s just part of the package though.

    As for why he writes PEAR… it’s just letters. Thousands of people write, and there’s only so many 3-5/6 letter combinations… so someone is PEAR.

    Even though the word graffiti has been co-opted to define an art form, its still silly to use it in place of “talentless vandalism” when you’re talking about today’s graffiti. It’s kind of like saying “hip hop, or music?”

    Hell yeah, it’s “art”. It looks fucking cool and its funny (Stealth Pear?) It beats an anonymous abandoned lifeless deteriorating wall. And honestly, what is the difference (visually) between this an an equally vibrant advertisement… except that this wasn’t placed here with the intent of manipulating you into thinking about instant gratification.

    D.C. isn’t NYC, where the graffiti layers up. If you don’t like a tag, wash or paint over it, easy — it wont be hit every night like NY. The vast majority of graffiti present in the city today is large murals, which help pave the way in cleaning up neighborhoods and eventually gentrifying them so new people feel comfortable moving in. There is a lot more to graffiti culture and the development of skill than jumping into murals one day. Everyone’s just gotta live with it. It’s like saying “boy, I love the blues, jazz and rock and roll. I love Chariie Parker, and going to U St., but MAN do I hate hearing the neighborhood kids playing their trumpets, bangin’ on buckets, and Mr. Brown playing his jazz records loud.” It’s a bigger formula at work. You can’t just appreciate the cream of the crop and stomp out the roots.

    For folks who really can’t see any value in the simple “tags,” see past the rude vandalism of it for a second, and recognize the sometimes really impressive line and calligraphy of it (the can contorl.) The sweeping and sharp execution of the letters, composition, has a lot in common with Chinese characters. Reading the spirit behind an someone’s unique calligraphy, and seeing their personality in it, is a big part of the culture there, Not saying you can learn to love it all, but there may be something interesting you’re not letting yourself see.

  • Pear is Borf.

  • Yeah sure, Pear is Borf. And the guy who scrawled ‘Li’l Raza’ in orange crayon on my neighbor’s fence is Banksy.

  • This one (and the “Sonic Fume!” tag) look cool. Though it’s too bad they’re nonsensical phrases – I think it would be interesting if people tagged these buildings with positive phrases or something.

    Also, I think the “graffiti or art” question is definitely valid. The comparison to “hip hop or music” is not valid – hip hop clearly contains musical elements, but not all graffiti is artistic (case in point the 2007 post PoP linked to – that is not art.) If you want to redefine the word graffiti to apply it to just street art that’s fine, but I don’t think it’s there yet.

  • Emmaleigh504

    I like this. If it were my wall I would keep it, but if it were just that little dinky “Pear 2009” I would so paint over it. I particularly like the spray can in the upper left corner. Well done Pear!

  • WTF? Graffitti IS art!

  • Ray Swore Says:
    November 3rd, 2009 at 1:37 am

    art of graffiti…. ugh. Are you sure you should be writing a city/urban blog?

    dude, he’s just getting us talking about it. and people are. so, i’d say yeah. Pop should be writing about it. you’re not in tune with dc if you think the city at large embraces graph and this debate doesnt happen at nearly every anc meeting or civic gathering.

  • I think some graffitti can be artistic. There’s a tribute to Michael Jackson at the CUA/Brookland Metro stop that is beautiful.

    The best way I’ve ever seen graffiti dealt with was where I went to college. They had legal places around camping where one could graffitti, and as a result it channeled most of the graffitti there, and we got to enjoy even more artistic graffitti.

  • …i totally nabbed a foto of this on my blackberry saturday. love it.

  • I’m a big fan; the silliness of it is pretty appealing. Better than a bunch of movie posters, that’s for sure.

  • Just so it doesn’t get skewed in this, hip-hop is a word for a culture, and it has 4 parts: MCing, DJing, breaking, and graffiti. (Beatboxing is sometimes included, but that’s not considered one of the 4 pillars).

    Using “hip-hop” to only describe rapping/DJing misses the rest of the picture.

  • THIS IS 100% CLASS! Street Fighter FTW.

    Graffiti is art. Corporate Ads are trash.

  • It doesn’t matter whether you think graffiti has artistic merit — that is not the point. The wall does not belong to the “artist” tagging with out permission is vandalism and should not be tolerated

  • @quincycyclist – reread my post for some clarification about why graffiti is a mixed bag that you cant pick and choose with. Tags are how people practice and learn their “line.” You can’t have murals without tags, the same way you can’t have Louis Armstrong without that kid practicing trumpet down the street. When we are talking about “graffiti” and looking at pictures of aerosol propelled paint, we are obviously talking about graffiti art (as the word had been ‘redefined’ to mean. You can tell the writer is a graffiti artist, therefore the question is which of his works are good or bad (then maybe, if you wanna get lame, ponder whether it is “art.”) The “is it Hip Hop or music?” analogy is perfect.
    *I used hip hop are accessible reference to mc/dj music, of course.

    @Pip – yeah, pear probably is one of the kids who wrote borf, which is a giant “who cares” b/c borf was a yawner, and only has a bit of legend in the city b/c he began writing just as “street art” came into vogue with the same reverse white flight crowd he comes from.

    @Anon 9:35 – Pop sounded uninformed and out of touch (which is why he got some internet whining for it).. just as he did with that ridiculous, “Fenty Great on Parks! (corruption scandal?)” post. (*note: I am a fan, it just did look daft though.)

    @DCZen – Actually, there was to point, hence the question. The owner who abandoned that building and contributed to blight, its vandalizing neighborhood in his own way. Anyway, the question was about artistic merit, go kick rocks or something.

    Graffiti should almost never be discussed in public, because people are generally totally ignorant about it.. as the a lot of the discussion here proves (my point is that, people have their opinions and tastes, it’s a go-nowhere convo.)

  • Clicking back to the original PEAR post I find it amusing that someone in the comments was bitching about PoP never posting things that happen in Petworth, because this was in CH. My how the times have changed- we’ve even got Capitol Hill now!

Comments are closed.