Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cleveland's Secret Gallery: Part 1

The kids call it The Free Wall.
Barely off the beaten path, thousands of gentrified Clevelanders drive within a few hundred feet of these industrial ruins each day, yet few people even think to look past the old cars and brush adorned with litter, beyond the old tires. The surrounding neighborhood is what the politically correct call "disadvantaged", and the Crocker Park set would never venture into. I visited yesterday afternoon on my way home from work, and as I got out of my car for a moment, even I felt a bit apprehensive.

Apprehension was quickly eclipsed by intrigue, and then amazement. "Free Wall" is definitely a misnomer. This was not a solitary wall, but the remains of a demolished factory, or warehouse complex. The concrete foundations left behind have been turned into murals, not by a lone artist funded by some benevolent philanthropy, but rather by local kids armed with aerosol paint and a desire to leave their mark on the world. However, the Free Wall is indeed free. The Cleveland police will not interfere with the kids while they practice their art. Here graffitti is not art crime

Every surface covered in Krylon. Layers and layers of paint, image on top of image. Tags and 'toons, messages and scribbles, planned compositions and random splatters. A feast for the eyes, an explosion of colors in the midst of our dreary gray city on a gray lake.
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2 comments:

theodore said...

Where is this at?

I ride the red line train past the walls of graffiti between the Cedar Hill station and about E79th and I have become quite enamored with urban street art recently along with interests I already have in urban exploration.

I would to check this place out..

(I am a graduate architecture/urban design student at Kent State's CUDC downtown)

Are En Kay said...

w.25th and lorain.

koma is a toy.