You have your Banskys and the rag tag roves of kids who sneak onto barren stretches of railroad to put up pieces on stalled rail cars. Here in Denver we have a bit of both the iconic and the subversive in street art. The large mural put up in the Berkley neighborhood by Bunny M. and cross city displays of alley way photographs as part of Denver’s month of photography speak to a culture of acceptable street art, while quickly strewn tags on electric boxes unnerve. Either way street art inspires the onlooker to respond- it’s like bumping into someone on a crowded sidewalk with the opportunity for annoyance, anger, or possibly even love at first sight.
There is much to love about the quirky display on the corner of Santa Fe and Alameda. Humor in the face of construction could quell high blood pressure or just keep a bout of road rage parked. While construction caused delay across the Alameda bridge has made it a nightmare to get from one side of the freeway to the other, the slow down does give you the opportunity to catch a piece of renegade street art that otherwise only the glib bicyclists and drunk amblers would see. On every corner of the intersection some happy actor has broken out select lights in the walk signals to create clever montages our hapless walk man finds himself in- in flames, with a walking stick, one in which he sports giant awkward shoes. It is a novel take on the more ubiquitous hula hoop sticker over a cross walk sign. Our walk man bravely blazes in the otherwise banal traffic conditions and makes a drab corner a little less so. He is a bit of jest in the commute.
The next time you’re suffering through the slog down Alameda or up Santa Fe check him out and be grateful for, or infuriated by, the anonymous artist who made him. Now if we could only do something about the dreary underpass beside him- that stretch of cement wall is ripe for creative confrontation.