Swings and googly eyes making the world a better place

Yes. Blu and Nunca and Shepard Fairey and all the rest can put up really impressive gigantic murals that tourists will travel from around the world to see and property owners will cover in plexiglass. That’s cool sometimes. But there’s something to be said for the anonymous street art that just makes people smile. It’s an often overlooked segment of the street art world, because a lot of that sort of work is small, very ephemeral, hard to notice, something that doesn’t look like art, hard to capture an image of on film and impossible to experience through a photograph. This is a short post attempting to draw attention to some of that art. To me, it’s just as important, if not more important, than the sort of street art that will one day wind up in museums.

Over the winter break, a high school friend of mine introduced me to Faces in Places. He loves that blog. Me, I’m indifferent, but I see the appeal. When I mentioned to him that there were a bunch of googly eyes appearing on my university campus, where people would put googly eyes on things to help facilitate more Faces-in-Places-like-things, he laughed. Here at Haverford, the googly eyes are a mystery, but it turns out that some of his friends started a bunch of googling (as they call it) on the Wesleyan University campus. I don’t think they were consciously trying to make art, they were just trying to make people smile and take back to the world “googling” from Google. But putting googly eyes on things is amazing street art. Is it as complex as something by MOMO? No. But it makes people smile and it brightens their day! That, to me, is one of the most noble and important goals of street art. And it’s not particularly difficult to achieve. So go and google something or scribble a funny piece of graffiti in the bathroom stall, it’s probably not going to end up in MoMA, but it may just make somebody smile, and that’s much more important.

Another similar project is this one by Oh San Fransisco:

Even though there’s a slight advertising component with that project and it’s not completely anonymous, it’s still a pretty damn good gift to the community. Putting up swings is a simple gift to make the world a better place. Kudos to Oh San Fransisco for getting out and making people have a better day. Random Acts of Greatness also explains well why they like Oh San Francisco’s project.

Photo by waystation