The symbol of riding

Maybe graffiti works represent a cultural symbol. When I ride a bike around Palermo area, on the way to go to faculty and coming back especially, I could encounter some graffiti works on the street of which structure is quite repetitive. As I attached some of those examples in this post, I could observe that many of them share a similar structure of riding on something. Why isn’t just a main character enough to complete such graffiti art? What is the fact that makes street artists to draw an additional subject of riding? In an artistic sense, then having this riding structure is somewhat more stable and aesthetic? What would be the complementary relationship between the subject and the object?

The first reason I could think of was as a comfortable transportation means. The riders always are in human form, when the riding materials is an animal or machinery form. As an human perspective then, the riding act is completely egoistic, which makes human be on its dominance over the object of riding. Perhaps, in this sense, those street arts represent humane pride that we have created over years dominating other means to serve us. No matter who would be the subject; children, adults or even an humane monk, they step on something to guarantee their comfortableness.

In such sense, I’d like to dispose the very purpose of human art out of these street works. The art is not to make us feel proud of what we have dominated, rather is to make us humble before the furtherly possible creativities.

The second reason I could think of was related to Spanish language usage of the word ‘montaje’. Since language recreates the world we perceive, I protested that in some way, Spanish idiomatic way of thinking would be related to generate such structure of art production. Montaje means the status of riding, of which use is frequent when to mention of factory assembling process. It can be used to refer the setting up for a stage or products, or the finalisation of one process itself. So as with this structure of assembly between the subject and the object, those art pieces represent both the start of their stories and the finalisation of these. The middle script is up to one’s imagination only.

In such sense, I’d like to make a warm applause for all of those wall pieces. They’d ask me; from where are they moving and to where are they heading? Are they making a calm travel of a rapid one with a rush?

In Mexico, where mural art is quite common and famous for, the art is to reproduce the social conscience to those who pass it every day. In DF, many of those mural art is about the Mexican history of independence and revolution, with an image of endless, rigorous and proud battle fields. If it can be summarised as a violent scene, are those mural art pieces reproduce historical violence to their population over and over again, rather than teaching them the peace? In Valparaiso, a port city of Chile near its capital, full of mural graffiti works decorate every corner of its loveable city. People write down their love stories in short words, and those words are the element that makes this city romantic, for they reproduce the love affairs and broken hearts in front of their population.

Surely there would be more than one generalised structure of art in Palermo. But this frequently observed pattern is vivid, and I wonder what kind of sense this structure reproduces over the population that pass those graffiti every day. Riding itself is an important aspect of urban lifestyle, from commuting to partying. All urban interactions are to start and finish with a means of transportation. Likewise, this mobility represents the very starting point and the final point of one’s story, which becomes memory and history in human life.

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