Know Your Street Art: Untitled (524 Minna St.)

The head of an angry man-creature — tattooed in white lines that crisscross almost every patch of his skin — shouts out the word “Another.”

Another what? Another drink? Around the same time someone drew this on the boarded-up wall, another person added the word “Pretty.” And someone else added “Lenny!” And yet someone else added, “Interference = Flairs.” The street art is an old-fashioned “pile-on” work, done by anonymous taggers and artists, that city officials usually consider an eyesore. The building's owner might even be fined if the scribbles and artwork aren't removed soon.

But this street art is in an alley that, while close to marquee shopping centers and “trending” restaurants, is more known for the drug users who frequent its sidewalks, and the transients who use its cement for multiple purposes. It may be months before city officials even notice the work, and that's a good thing, because — like a review on Yelp, whose headquarters is located just four blocks away — the art will see even more additions the longer it's up. That will add different dimensions. And on any given day, more people may see this work than go into the nearby International Art Museum of America.

Whether passers-by consider this Minna Street work “art” is another question. But it's good to remember the words of Keith Haring, who had a penchant for words and once said that, “Art is nothing if you don't reach every segment of the people.”

Every day, scores of people walk up and down nearby Sixth Street. For those who turn into this part of Minna Street, a growing public canvas is waiting for them. The people who started this work certainly had fun doing it. One person's eyesore is another person's public playground, where scribbled letters and the heads of angry man-creatures are a pretty thing, indeed.

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