Street Art: "Like"

Continuing the street art series.

This is a spout in a wall of blue tile… which someone has turned into art, by affixing a thumbs-up symbol with the word “Like” above it.

I like this on so many levels. (Not least of which is how self-referential my “liking” of it automatically becomes.) There’s the obvious surrealist Magritte/ Duchamp concept, of turning ordinary things into art just by pointing to them, and of art being a way of looking as much as (if not more than) a way of creating. Plus I’m always fond of things that make you wake up to your surroundings, and make you pay attention to the beautiful in the ordinary. And at the same time, there seems to be a commentary on social media and Internet culture, and our tendency in those cultures to feel like we have to give a simplistic thumbs-up or thumbs-down to absolutely everything.

Or maybe I’m reading too much into it. Maybe it’s just beautiful and funny.

Seen either on Mission or Valencia Street, I forget which. If anyone knows who the artist is, please let me know, so I can credit them properly.

Street Art: "Like"
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11 thoughts on “Street Art: "Like"

  1. 3

    This reminds me of a poem by Donald Hall:

    The Repeated Shapes

    I have visited Men’s Rooms
    in several bars
    with the rows
    of urinals like old men
    and the six-sided odor

    of disinfectant.
    I have felt the sadness
    of the small white tiles,
    the repeated shapes
    and the unavoidable whiteness.

    They are my uncles,
    these old men
    who are only plumbing,
    who throb with tears all night
    and doze in the morning.

    -Donald Hall

  2. 8…. I like to like it baby.

    Or maybe I’m reading too much into it. Maybe it’s just beautiful and funny.

    Reading too much is half the fun. All the better when it’s funny and beautiful.

  3. 9

    I don’t like it at all. I like the deep blue tiles, I tolerate the drainspout (assuming it’s functional) but I think the “like” symbol is both graphically ugly and as thoughtless as any other graffiti.

    Ooh, DEEP RIFTS!

  4. 10

    Or…it’s just pointless.

    I’m of the school of thought that if a piece of art requires a multi-paragraph treatise to explain its meaning, it doesn’t have one. It’s similar to “don’t explain the joke” kind of stuff.

    I either have a higher standard that most people for what I consider “creative and profound” and opposed to “random cool things”, or am an uncultured philistine.

    If art is about changing our perceptions of the world, why isn’t “The Necker Cube” considered the best work of art ever? 12 lines is all it takes to render plain the perceptive trickeries that can be accomplished when modeled 3D objects on a 2D canvas, distilled to their barest essence.

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