Reading the City: The Real Public Art

Graffiti on wall, the word ZEN with the second and third letters mirror imaged, above a painting of a spotted green mushroom, and a Fixodent box on the ground

It amuses and baffles me when street art is referred to as vandalism. If this is because of the quality of the art, it makes no sense, because the best street art — and there is a lot of great street art in Glasgow — is far superior to most commissioned “public art,” which tends towards the generic and mediocre. If it is because street art is done without permission, it makes even less sense, as most citizens have no role in deciding what “public art” is commissioned and created.

Graffiti, the letters ZEN haphazardly arranged

The city is a book of art and text in which artists and writers are constantly in dialogue. I love to read the city as I walk, and am fascinated when I see new work. Recently, I have noticed a new tag, which seems to be various arrangements of the letters ZEN, so of course I approve. Is this one artist mixing it up stylistically, or a crew with each member doing their own version? Does it refer to Zen, or is it initials or an acronym?

Graffiti, the letters ZEN, red paint on black

The three photos here were taken in the Wyndford, but daishin and I have noticed similar tags in other parts of the city.

#StreetArt #PublicArt #graffiti #zen #wyndford #maryhill #glasgow #ScottishBlogs


City Cave Zen Sangha

Profile at Scottish Book Trust


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