Brain Pickings

Graffiti Love Letter to Syracuse

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In April, I featured A Love Letter For You — sign painter and street artist Steve Powers’s wonderful ongoing graffiti love letter to Philadelphia, stretching across 50 building facades along 20 blocks. Now, Powers is back with another love letter, this time for the Near West Side community of Syracuse, NY.

I made a very adult version of what graffiti is to me — and that is, a vehicle for projecting larger ideas.” ~ Steve Powers

Powers walked around the Near West Side neighborhood and all of Syracuse, talking to people about what they love and hate about their community in order to unearth the basic human truths that would inform and inspire his artwork.

What makes Powers’ work particularly noteworthy is that it bends the definition of street art in a number of ways — it isn’t uncommissioned and illegal, done under the radar of city authority, but rather sanctioned and embraced by the city in a collaborative context; nor is it the singular voice of a sole artist, but rather the choir of a community channelled through the artist’s creative point of view.

As far as I’m concerned, every city needs a love letter. Bravo, Steve.

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