A week or so ago, we spotted this cut-out on telephone poles going up 40th from the U District. We asked the Twitterverse what was up:
Seen these popping up along 40th in Wallingford. Who knows the story? http://t.co/lYW7Y7z
But heard few clues back: Sarah said she’d seen similar signs around Green Lake, but without the hair, but that was it.
Fast forward to this past Thursday evening, which found us at the Fred Wildlife Refuge on Capitol Hill for the City Arts Art Walk Awards. A friend of ours went missing from the thumping beats, off for a private conversation up the stairs, through the door, around the obstacle, past the balcony and out the back. Time was winding down, and we were dispatched for a rescue mission up the stairs, through the door, around the obstacle and past the brightly lit room in the back with the blue tape and the kneeling man.
Something about the shape of the blue tape rung a bell.
There he was, in the flesh, the Bald Man Watching artist himself. According to his Flickr page:
Baldmanwatching is an experiment in artistic endurance. The artist will continue to recreate and remake the image of The Bald Man in what ever form it manifests for the rest of the artist’s life. This project began in 2001.
BMW wants to remain anonymous for the time being, but you can see his work on the Bald Man Watching Flickr page.
Or head up to Fred on May 12th for the opening of the “Chin Mayo” show BMW is putting on in collaboration with Day Chan.
I saw him putting that one up, and the one at the corner of 1st and Pacific, the Saturday after Earth Day. I wondered if I’d ever hear the story, if any, behind them. Thanks!
Although, I must say, the man doesn’t look bald to me – it looks like he has hair like Moe from The Three Stooges.
I love the idea that people are putting telephone poles in Wallingford to creative uses like this. It’s a refreshing change from the same old, boring clean poles that we usually find throughout Wallingford. Kudos to you!
There are a network of artists like BMW here in Seattle, all of who rock. In you walk much in Seattle, you’re probably already aware of much of their stickered calling cards. They are an awesome bunch!
This is great! I think its very interesting. I only recently watched the Bansky documentary (Exit through the Gift Shop) and that taught me to totally open my eyes and see all the amazing street art around us. I love it!
It’s grafitti. Plain and simple. All the fools who went out and saw Exit Through the Gift Shop now are going around putting crap up everywhere and calling it art. And now all the fools who also watched the film think it’s awesome! It’s not, as the film showed any douche can slap stickers everywhere and fool folks…
Commitment to a theme, that’s for sure. I appreciate the artistic challenge of riffing on the image and the creative approach to placement of some of the stickers (I draw the line at obscuring signs or creating potential safety hazards for drivers, and wonder if it would be ‘cool’ with the artist if his personal stuff were coated randomly with other people’s stickers) especially the juxtaposed sharply defined images in the midst of ruin and broken things. Whether to call it “artistic endurance” or obsession is a valid question; is it possible that the artist has found a “comfortable” theme and is now “stuck”, unable to move forward? Maybe that’s part of the reason the artist prefers to remain anonymous–to step up and personally face the truth of other people’s opinions might be too uncomfortable. At least some of the Flickr images indicate a willingness to experiment with other media. Maybe there is a deeper meaning to the theme, making it a “calling” of sorts, but I typically associate the word “calling” to a life’s work built on direct service to others. Self-produced graphic art mainly focused on a single theme and anonymous display doesn’t quite reach that threshold. So yes, it’s a cool theme, and there are some cool things that the artist has done with it. But maybe that’s all it is…not something that to me inspires “awe”, as in reverential respect, so not “awesome”.
You can see his work on the mirror of In the Bowl restaurant on Capitol Hill. Vandalizing that mirror (which must be replaced) is no different than if he had taken the money of of their cash register. If you think theft is art…
I work with the large construction projects in Seattle. We saw the sign and just googled to see whats up with these signs posted on the sound & protection walls around the Sound Transits construction projects! Glad to read it looks like we can expect ART on these ugly barriers?