By Dan Cerruti
Graffiti is no longer a controversy. Long gone are the “Style Wars” days – people have been bombing and tagging since the 70s, and it’s hard for something going on 40 years old to be considered too “edgy.” But what happens when graffiti starts moving, y’know, like, across the wall? Well, you might be watching some of the artist BLU’s mixed media wall mural awesomeness that makes your brain simultaneously go “whoa” and “how long did this fucking thing take to make?”
I’d seen his work before in MUTO, his stop-motion short of mutating paintings along a wall, which features a distinct trait of leaving behind white space as it goes along- a ghost trail, as it were.
Keeping with his theme of crazy transformations for his new film, BIG BANG BIG BOOM, he has shifted from generic mutation to genetic, and focused on evolution. This time around he comes heavy with elements besides walls and paint, incorporating cars, silos, and water towers along with charcoal, paper, and even an errant person into the mix to complicate the film and astound the viewer. Got to admit, BLU lost me at the political allegories, which don’t go too much deeper than the video for Pearl Jam’s Do The Evolution (indeed, people do shoot each other). Aside from that one criticism, though, the technical wizardry and sense of play in BLU’s work elevates it to a damn fine piece of craft worth being awed by.
Whatever BLU does next, I’m already excited for it. I never would’ve thought watching paint dry could actually be, contrary to popular proverbs, pretty damn fun.