LETTER: ‘Next Time You Need a Wall Decorated, Go Hire a Bunch of Graffiti Artists’
Dear Editor –
The new artwork (“The Burien Mural”) on the side of the Dollar Tree facing City Hall is absolutely perfect, both for today’s Burien and for those who signed off on the project. It is very nicely rendered . . . and it says nothing whatever, which means that no one can possibly take offense. Done to a smaller scale it would make fine wallpaper in a dentist’s office.
The Mural is therefore a good aesthetic fit with the business center that went in just up 4th Avenue a couple of years ago. You know the one, with each store front finished in a different style from the adjoining ones, to mimic actual separate stores that could have been built in different eras. It is transparently a fake, the sort of cheap phoniness excoriated by the late American cultural scourge, Paul Fussell (see his “Class”, c.1982).
Who chooses this insipid glop? Evidently, a group of middle-class folk who imagine they have at least upper-middle tastes and aspire to be fully Upper. They are hoping they can turn Burien into something Eastside, say Kirkland, as if that were in some way desirable. They were made uncomfortable by the gales of laughter that greeted the UN-approved bits of statuary put up in the vacant lot south of Staples several years ago featuring a naked bronze lady squatting quite possibly to do her business in full view. Since the lady and her accompanying amusements were removed, the arbiters of Burien art and architecture are going to play it very safe. Meanwhile, if in despair one wishes to see public art that doesn’t induce nausea, one can look around Fremont, or even parts of White Center.
Burien, next time you need a wall decorated, go hire a bunch of graffiti artists and gangstas. They will come a lot cheaper than the $20,000 that The Mural reportedly cost.
– SwampCity Smitty
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