Dear PoP – EHN graffiti art


“Dear PoP,

Here is a picture of the new Eleanor Holmes Norton electrical box graffiti art on 14th and Florida NW. There is another one at 14th and P, too. How awesome is this?

Also attached is a Barack Obama/Joker graffiti that is about a year old, on the redline near Rhode Island Ave. It’s done by a sick artist named JU who’s paintings extend from Union Station to Glenmont. I haven’t been out that way in about 6 months, but I’m sure the graffiti art is still flourishing along the red line route. Just figured your readers would appreciate!”


24 Comment

  • Are we certain that the joker graffiti isn’t just… the joker? I see that and a lot of JU’s work everyday (he’s quite good) and I’ve never thought of it as Obama Joker. I think the work was done before the teabaggers started doing the Obama/joker posters.

  • EHN is a complete idiot and I am glad for our sake that DC does not have a voting member of congress. I DO want the vote, but not if she is our only option to represent us in Congress.

  • I submitted the pictures – it’s Obama (on the far right) AND the Joker (on the left).

  • Why would people ‘appreciate’ grafitti?

  • Why would people ‘appreciate’ music or indian food or films or sexual intercourse?

  • Uh, no, it’s really not “awesome.” It’s actually called “vandalism.”

    And PoP what the heck are you doing putting this on your site as if it’s some public art project?

  • Emmaleigh504

    I like that EHN piece!

  • Yeah, it’s defacement of public property. I get that some graffiti can be quite beautiful, but then put it on a building you own, or which the owner allows you to (like the side of Bloombars). But on publicly owned property? No thanks – it goes from being art to a crime in my book.

  • Agree, there’s not a lot to appreciate in grafitti. It loses whatever artistic merit it had by being the defacement of someone else’s property.

  • Yeah, you guys are right. That concrete wall would look much better without art on it. Making my metro ride more interesting is an act of crime.

  • David – Congratulations on being the first person to write a pointless, snarky comment in this chain.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    To tell you the truth when I used to ride the train from DC to NYC I loved looking at the graffiti on the ride up. I don’t see a problem with it on railroad walls. I do however have a problem when it is on someone’s personal home or business. I don’t think the examples above are harming anyone. I appreciate that there are different opinions on this subject.

  • aww man, i hate when people deface private property too, but retaining walls on train tracks and crappy blah street furniture? it aint hurting anyone. its not a window, or a car, or 100 year old unpainted brick. its prettier than the gum on the sidewalk or cigarette butts or chain link fence.

    its not like someone was cheating in the express checkout line.

  • I submitted and am excited by the photos, simply because public artistic expression in Washington is exceptionally suppressed. There is something to be said for thoughtful and well done street art, especially since the District has a tradition of discouraging art programs (let alone the production of public art). Recently, that habit seems to be changing, with Murals DC and DC Creates! Public Art Program popping up this year.

    The above examples aren’t a total abuse of public space – this is not a BORF situation (although that used to bring a smile to my face, too), nor is it hazardous, like a territorial tag battle. We hang Fairey creations in our Smithsonian & embrace them in the streets – why not others? I for one am excited by the new small street art movements in DC (postering of flowers, bunnies and candy corn, stencils, etc) that make my typically dull commute down 14th Street a little brighter.

    And yes, it’s illegal. But compared to what’s going on in our backyard: the HUD threatening to cut DC AIDS funding next year, kids killing kids in gang rivalries, poverty, crooked city workers, cocaine chickens (, Congress… the criminality of vandalism is kinda lost on me.

  • At first glance, I didn’t get EHN from that picture; I got Gary Coleman.

  • I am able to connect this graffiti thread with yesterdays request for a knitting shop, see:

    Guerrilla knitting. Too cool.

  • Well stated Katie, but I react badly to lawlessness in general. The broken windows theory of crime resonates with me. If an indivual sees a lack of respect for others’ property all around him, he is less likely to respect others’ property in turn. If an individual defaces others’ property with impunity, what crimes might he commit next?

    You say this sort of grafitti isn’t hazardous, like a territorial tag battle. But don’t you wonder if it contributes to that battle? Lesser “artists” trying to make their way up?

  • You lost me at “And yes, it’s illegal.” That’s reason enough why we shouldn’t celebrate it. Borf was a legitimate artist, too, but I have no love for what he did to this city. Count me in with the dissenters.

  • Anonymous – You have no reason to interpret my sarcasm as pointless. My point was that I don’t consider “defacement” of retaining wall to be a crime, which I think was quite aptly expressed by my sarcasm. Maybe it was a bit snarky and for that I apologize. But then again, it’s not so hard to be snarky to someone who goes by “Anonymous…”

  • Katie @3:40 – oops! my mistake, guess I don’t see Obama on the wall when I’m on the redline. Sorry.

    I think that some graffiti is good. JU and more well-known artist such as Banksy do good work. They’re pretty rare. 90% of graffiti is crap, but it’s still something to look at as you’re passing by.

  • EHN needs a makeover. Seriously.

  • The graffiti throughout the city is truly art. It reflects the unique flavor and flair of each individual neighborhood and brings life to the community(as long as its tasteful).

  • what fascinates me about graffiti is that it looks pretty much the same the world over. or at least in europe. the stuff along the red train route from paris to amsterdam looks just like waht we have here. why is that?

  • At first glance, I thought that was Gary Coleman wearing glasses, too!

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