October 6, 2006

The chalk artist.

Drawing a face and drawing a crowd, on Library Mall today:

Chalk artist

One hand keeps the Vermeer reproduction secure on the sidewalk, and the other hand works the lipstick-red chalk into the Hollywoodsy collagen-lips.

Chalk artist

I can't explain the cowboy.

ADDED: I don't know if this is the same guy I photographed back in 2004 at the "9 Beet Stretch":


BJK said...

With the amount of time and effort that must go into that level of detail, it's a shame that he works in a medium that will disappear the next time it rains.

John said...

I think the cowboy has a look on his face like, "what's up with the 5 o'clock shadow on that Vermeer "Girl"?

hat said...

Do cowboys truly need any explanation?

Maxine Weiss said...

Not to throw a wet blanket....but can you just block a public sidewalk like that?

Where's the permit ?

There must be some sort of a city ordinance.

---Not to mention the ripped knee on those jeans.

Hate to rain on anyone's parade, or try to control other's behavior in a public space....but

I'd always thought Art was to be crafted in a studio, and then shown in a gallery.

Much more civilized that way.

Peace, Maxine

Jake said...

Is that the same guy who did these (scroll down a bit)


Ann Althouse said...

Jake: I love those. Most chalk guys seem to do reproductions of famous artworks but that guy really pushed the envelope..

Tibore said...

Got an artist coworker here (yeah, I'm working late tonight) telling me that sidewalk art is sometimes actually commisioned by a gallery or some other business for an event. He doesn't know if permits are required or not, but the point is that this is a rather common thing in some places. New York is this coworker's specific example.

Another guy here sent me this link (not of someone in Madison) who likes playing with forced perspective in their own sidewalk art to produce some unreal 3D effects:


Granted, you look at them at the wrong angle, the 3D effect is destroyed, but still... it's some real neat stuff.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that a homage to the famous Vermeer painting, "Girl With a Concrete Earring"?

nedludd said...

Damned vandals.

30 days as a guest of the county would put an end to his days as a graffitti artist.

Anonymous said...

Sidewalk art is serendipity, and its artists true stalwarts of the ephemeral. I love catching them in the act even more than viewing their finished pieces. The magic ebbs for me when people start walking over the images.

My fave has always been watching children chalk up the driveway with characters and scenes from their other real life, the one that's always with them even though the adults can't see it, except when you give them crayons, chalk, pencils or paint. It's only the outdoor chalk, though, that frees them to scale their world as big or bigger than life, for a while at least.

Wish I had taken pics.

Madison Man said...

FYI - The artist's name is Seth Sanders. You can see some of his non-sidewalk work on the walls of Frida's on State St.

He does great portrait work as well.

suzan mustafa said...

dear maxine weiss it seems like u r to concernd with rules and permits that you are forgetting about the fun of it and the joy that people had watching .i think chillax

miraclepieco said...

Maxine Weiss said: "I'd always thought Art was to be crafted in a studio, and then shown in a gallery.
Much more civilized that way."

Evidently she never heard of Michelangelo: he painted on ceilings, this guy paints on sidewalks; no difference.

I'm sure this was a legitimate street fair, complete with the appropriate permits. And as for the ripped jeans: Maxine, please stop throwing wet blankets and raining on parades.