Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Word up

Like an inventive chef who creates their own clever variation on a long-established menu favourite, the miscreant responsible for the work featured in this posting serves up standard fare with a novel twist. And relish.

Penile graffiti is usually presented as a ham-fisted drawing or a cack-handed doodle. Here though, on a stone pillar outside Concrete Wardrobe, a swanky designer furniture outlet at the St Mary's Street end of Cowgate in Edinburgh, we get a generous helping of originality courtesy of a phantom scribbler. Rather than the crude hieroglyphic or preposterously proportioned diagram that we've come to know and love, the perpetrator takes us by surprise by rustling up a written offering instead. Cheeky.

Admire the confident strokes of the lettering, and pay homage to that wholly superfluous exclamation mark. It's the graffitist's equivalent of painting a fluorescent arrow to point at an already obvious neon sign. Pure bravado.

Flicking a stiff two fingers to convention, this one really stands out. The use of red ink helps. It seems to be quite a popular colour among street artists. There’s a lot of it about.

This image was snapped way back in September 2005, but nothing lasts forever. Everything is transitory. Before long, someone - most likely the shop-owner, perhaps having grown tired of being harangued about it by flustered customers and indignant passers-by - attacked the word with, well, let's indulge in some idle speculation here. Bleach and wire wool? Soapy water and a scrubbing brush? Cilit Bang and a J Cloth? Or just a vague feeling of sadness and some good old-fashioned elbow grease?

Whatever it was, it certainly did the trick. Today, only a faint trace of it remains, though it can still just about be made out, as you can see for yourself by looking here. It’s a shame, isn’t? At least the original bold effort lives on in its full glory in this posting though.

The cock is dead. Long live the cock.


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