Is art latching onto the concept of “go big or go home!” “Whoever accumulates the most, wins!” “I have more than anyone else in the world!” Is more and bigger, better? I ask because:
Starting in the early nineties, Michael Anderson, a Bronx-born artist, began to amass what has come to be regarded—unofficially, and mostly by Anderson himself—as the world’s largest collection of graffiti stickers…For years, they sat quietly in notebooks in the artist’s Upper West Side apartment. Last April, the owners of the new Ace Hotel at 29th and Broadway came calling with a mural commission. Completed last month, it’s most likely the only museum devoted to this extremely ephemeral form.
I love this. Anderson calls himself a curator, largely because the graffiti were all done by graffiti artists, whose work he cobbled together, printed on silk paper, and assembled in a collage.
But the striking part of it is how many, which leads you to “wow!”
It’s about scale and the idea that by simply viewing something that we can feel really small or on top of the world or invincible. It’s not about each and every individual sticker; it’s the menagerie that tricks the eye and the mind into going somewhere else.
I talked about this “bigger is better” concept here as “critical mass” https://lorigordon.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/critical-mass/
anything portrayed in critical mass will be poignant. 1,000 butterflies, 1 million grains of sand, 40 carats of rubies…