Sunday, June 1, 2014

Barely Human: psychylustro's Katharina Grosse

In case you don't know what that new graffiti is across from Boathouse Row, it's part of Katherina Grosse's joint venture between Amtrak and the Mural Arts Program. psychylustro, according to the German artist, is part of a need for day glo neon paint in order to "get close to people."

I know I won't make any friends in the Outsider Art community by saying this, but that's art speak for "I'm not talented enough to paint a good horse."

The installations involve spraying thousands of gallons of paint along Philadelphia's Amtrak and SEPTA lines in an effort to offer passengers a view of what amounts to the aftermath of a paintball battle or an Electric Run. It essentially covers our blighted corridors in bright colors to mask the squalor, much like the Favela Paintings in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. 

It looks kinda cool, like something from The Cell. But just think what this will look like in twelve months.

psychylustro is everything true talent hates: it's entitled, arrogant, and worst of all, its explanation is more creative than what anyone is actually looking at. But being an overrated artist is nothing new. Look at Zoe Strauss or Andy Warhol. 

What's truly disgusting about Grosse's work is that, in six months, it will no longer be maintained. Leaving our rail corridors lined with endless chemicals melting into the already polluted ground and views of fading pinks and oranges covering the trees and grass. All at a cost of nearly $300,000.

Way to think it through, Mural Arts and Amtrak. And thank you, Katherina Grosse, for using Philadelphia as your Third World canvas before retreating back to Europe. 

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