Graffiti as Art
Graffiti is public art when it speaks to us in mysterious ways.
These patterned young women with their deep sea diver heads showed up on a wall in Prague. They represented a mystery then and continue to do so now. Each holds a small packet with the letters MRP prominently visible.
It seems that the reference is to a brand of Tarot cards, which adds to the mystery. I have found this image to be endlessly fascinating because it has a visual distinction rarely seen on wall paintings in the street. The colors are powerful. Each individual figure is strong in her casual but assured stance.
Perhaps the most interesting thing for me is the repetition of the figures. This repetition implies a visual rhetoric similar to what is called ploce in poetry, a rhetorical figure that informs literature from classic times to the present. By repeating words, fragments, rhymes, and images, the artist magnifies the effect in immeasurable ways, whether in literature or visual art.
These five figures – literally a handful of figures – stand ready to engage the viewer in an aesthetic contract whose terms are inchoate, but visually palpable.