Art for the revolution. An art review of “dangerous art” in Hartford.

Posted: August 22, 2013 in for your reflection, HIGH queer art

by punkpink

Art is never chaste. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art”.

Some artists aren’t moved by the beauty around them, their patrons’ sponsorship, fame or some deep need for catharsis. Some artists operate on a different wavelength, channeling the injustices, imbalances, and harsh realities of their daily lives or the lives of those in need to create their art. That’s not to say these artists are entirely motivated by altruism. In these times we need more artists who are willing to stick it to the man, pointing to the bad guys with a big giant neon sign. Standing up and speaking up. Suppose they tell us join in, we gotta make a change sometime. Suppose they point us in another direction, show us the light as some would say. Suppose they are the sages of their generation. We think they just might be. Then what will we do?

On Wednesday July 10 a young anarchist comrade went to work to paint a large guillotine at the skate park. The skate park where folks go to skate and paint. There is some beautiful art works all over the park. The park where the young artists go to paint, the park set aside for young artists to go and paint. No rules just paint, take your time and paint. No signs up that state, “WATCH WHAT YOU PAINT AS NOT TO OFFEND THE BOURGEOISIE, THE COPS, THE CITY OFFICIALS. FOR IF YOU OFFEND US WE WILL ARREST YOU FOR YOUR ART!! Nope nothing. No guidance sign that Father Knows Best as what is and what isn’t art.

The cops say he was about to paint names, names of folks all around the guillotine. They found a list in his bag. Folks they say who are being called out so some violent act against them could occur. Chopping off their heads I presume even if the last use of one of these was in the late seventies in France and we can bet you $10.00 that no one in Hartford has a working guillotine that they will be willing to lend to the cause. Maybe the cops should be more worried about all the guns on the street rather than an art work. People are being killed all over this city.

Indeed these are dangerous times and dangerous times call for dangerous art and who knows what dangerous art will call for. This has always been the case. In these times if one is painting a cow, a picture of a lady, a bunch of flowers they are merely performing a service  for the bourgeoisie. Something for folks to hang on their walls something that goes well with the sofa. Something that doesn’t rock the boat. Something that says look at me I can really paint. These folks, these artists are in the way. They make it hard for the rest of us. They make it hard for real art in these times to operated as it should.

Oh art, it gets us sometime. Grabs us and won’t let go and then we have to say Which side am I on? We know we are not on the side of the white collar folks who run and work for the corporations. We know we are not on the side of the bourgeoisie. We don’t like them and they don’t like us as a matter of fact it is those folks those folks from the corporate building next store and several of their downtown lackeys who are causing a ruckus over the art in the park.

“The walls at the park are covered with self-expression, but police took action when someone in a neighboring office building saw the latest addition — a guillotine with blood dripping from an angled blade and the message “DE-VITALIZE DOWNTOWN.”

De-vitalize downtown.

The cops found a list, the cops found a list, So big fucking deal, the cops found a list:

Not a hit list, not hate speech as the cops said, just strong political art that was going to be painted where folks go to paint. The young artist never got to add the names to the painting. He ran out of paint. Who are these police who set the standards even after admitting that they didn’t know what the standards are? Here what was said.

“Without any signs indicating what is allowed or what is not, park advocates and city officials have conceded that Heaven has turned into an aerosol paint free-for-all. Police officers don’t know what they can enforce and businesses don’s know what to expect.” Mark, Tamaccio, an architect in the city’s public works department.

The new art critics. Police called the art work troubling.

So now we are suppose to listen to the cops tell us what is and what isn’t acceptable? Bull shit. A club upside of someones head is not acceptable, Pepper spraying is not acceptable, beating or killing young black kids is not acceptable. Tasering a young artists in Miami Beach and killing him is not acceptable. Their war on Black youth and the Black community is not acceptable.  Now these cops are trying to tell us what is violent and what isn’t. They are way in over their heads on this one.

You know there are many among us that take art to another level. Some like to break windows, some like to start fires in the street. Some love the smell of revolt in the air and go from there. There is all kind of art works being done that the police and the ruling class would like to suppress. But you know what, the ball is rolling fast. the ball is picking up speed, the ball is going to get out of control. True revolutionary DADA marches on and it doesn’t hold back  because it has something to do. It has something to tell us in these times, it cries out Listen. All is not well in the land of plenty.

The same suspects who are under the thumb of the state are crying over the graffiti in the skate park. Heads of the business district, the owners of a near by building housing corporate tenants, bourgeois business owners and their talking heads. Same type of folks who in history’s past would be against the latest in art who would stand against any and all revolutionary movements. Certainly we know they would be against any type of revolt.

They say tensions over the art have been rising over the past months because someone has been painting phalluses on others’ artwork.  Dare I say once again that DADA lives!!! Our hope is that no one who supports this park will be calling for the city to enforce rules about art in the park.  Let’s not prop up this system, let’s not be sell outs, let’s remember who we are, and for Heaven’s sake let’s not got under the cover of the man’s thumb.

“An architect in the city’s public works department, said he expects the new policy that the city drafts to limit graffiti and murals. the draft policy calls for a city ordinance to be written with “Clear direction of allowable and prohibited graffiti practices, with solid enforcement guidelines and penalties.”

We would have to ask then, can it still be art, the art as we know it, the art of freedom. Why in all of the world of art would these folks who run this city think that they know anything at all about art. Let us say loud and clear any artist in this city who joins with them to create this ordinance should and will be ashamed of themselves. 

The same old story, outsiders telling insiders what is right and just. A note to any insiders  who are a part of this discussion. Please no bending and bowing to the outsiders will. Just to get some crumbs and 2 walls for art. I wonder do they think about what they will gain by bending over for the man? Spraying inside of tight lines.  By being watched over by the police, the man, the bourgeoisie, by folks who think they are hip while guarding free expression. Get in line you little artists you. Get in line promoters.  Do as we say. We love art but only the art that we love. What we say goes.

This only leads to the  fall of art, of a beautiful state. Of the young with freedom to express themselves, to create, and make art. Without this freedom there can be no art.

2 walls that is what the city says they will give to artists to paint. 2 walls, Talk about a tight space. If I were a kid out to make some art that wouldn’t be enough space for me. I suppose next we will hear that a curator will decide who will and when they will paint on the 2 walls. The other walls, there is talk of getting a “real artist” to paint a “real mural” on the  walls that they take away from real artists.

We have to wonder as we wander, What would Madame Defarge Paint? You know this woman. She sat knitting, knitting the names of the offenders. We know what she said:

“I tell thee,” said madame, extending her right hand, for emphasis, “that although it is a long time on the road, it is on the road and coming. I tell thee it never retreats, and never stops. I tell thee it is always advancing. Look around and consider the lives of all the world that we know, consider the faces of all the world that we know, consider the rage and discontent. Can such things last? Bah! I mock you.”

Yes, we write this, now we write this for all of those who haven’t yet put on a thinking cap. As Andre Fermigier said, “We no longer want to just throw a pie into the face of the bourgeoisie but to force them to move past all of their assumptions of art, society, safety perception and to sweep them up into a new vision.” Back in the day we use to chant, “1,2,3, soldiers are we, in the war against the bourgeoisie.” It is safe to say this war is still going on. It is right to say that they fired the first shot. It is safe to say we know it won’t be the last.

Remember this quote from Goethe:  “The Philistine not only ignores all conditions of like which are not his own but also demands that the rest of mankind should fashion its mode of existence after his own.”

Now we wait, we write, we think and hope we can get others to see things just a bit differently. It is hard being out on a limb that is creaking in the nasty wind. Take off those fucking ear muffs, unplug your mind.

**a note from furbirdsqueerly. We have put off publishing this earlier by request, while the wheels of what some say is justice was still in spin.


  1. bernardo says:

    Thank goodness they caught that menace. Maybe now landlords and bosses will be safe.

    • That’s not what the folks who got back their security deposits because of the menace’s help are saying. Bosses should never feel safe as long as there are workers.

  2. […] in the skate park in downtown Hartford. The young anarchist artist was arrested. Pink wrote, Art for the Revolution. An art review of “dangerous” art in Hartford. Later in August we learned that the artists work had been altered and pink wrote, A Little Dab Will […]