The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal


directed by Matt McCormick, 16 minutes

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Emerging from the human psyche and showing characteristics of abstract expressionism, minimalism and Russian constructivism, graffiti removal has secured its place in the history of modern art while being created by artists who are unconscious of their artistic achievements. It is no coincidence that funding for “anti-graffiti” campaigns often outweighs funding for the arts. Graffiti removal has subverted the common obstacles blocking creative expression and become one of the more intriguing and important art movements of our time.

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3 members found this review helpful Created over 2 years ago.

I'm so excited to see this again. I recall seeing this screened at Rezfest in San Francisco many years ago. It's incredibly engaging and quite funny in the ernest delivery. It feels like a mocumentry at times but honestly, is it? Watch a relive the critical theory discussions of yesterday!

3 members found this review helpful Created about 2 years ago.

When I first saw the title of this film I was highly skeptical. How on earth could something like graffiti removal be considered art? Well, how wrong I was! The accidental parallels to legit modern art, as well as the ways of classifying graffiti removal is actually quite interesting. It's only a few moments of your time, and you'll never look at those grey squares on the sides of buildings quite the same way again!

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1 member found this review helpful Created over 1 year ago.

As a longtime admirer of buff patches, I enjoyed this both as a serious examination of the specific phenomenon, worthy of artistic attention, and as a slightly less convincing but still provocative presentation of the whole idea of "subconscious art". I only which it had taken itself a bit more seriously and put a little more life and genuineness in to the probably intentionally self-parodying voiceover. No matter; this film is still pretty much the secret key to appreciation of the urban environment.

Created about 2 months ago.

Great idea (I love to document graffiti in my photography), but annoying to watch. A bit to dry for me.

Created 9 months ago.

gah so good!!!!

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1 member found this review helpful Created 9 months ago.

So happy to have finally seen this short documentary after hearing about it for so long. It can definitely stand multiple viewings as the discussion it brings up is both important and a fun one to have. And a really nice glimpse at contemporary but also a dated Portland.

1 member found this review helpful Created about 1 year ago.

I love this film. the street's are deserted, there is vast blank surface' in an industrial area,inviting graffiti. The city crews covering up the nocturnal manifesto's create something new. The outlaws and the law enforcers collaborate unconsciously. If we look as we cycle on a sunday afternoon the new work is revealed.

1 member found this review helpful Created over 1 year ago. Updated over 1 year ago.

I love this.
I love the reframing of graffiti removal as art, very subversive. I love the reframing of power implicit in that. I love the passion for art and the insistence that all humans are creative, artistic. I love the tongue in cheek fact that this was funded by Portland.
I love the bleakness that is portrayed...though it saddens me (and perhaps this was the intent) that we must look to the removal of art in industrial spaces to find art. The covering of the human spirit to see the human spirit...think it speaks to the strength of spirit and inherent resistance in all forms.
I thought I was the only one who saw those blocks of paint in that way!

Created over 1 year ago.

I just enjoyed "The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal" on Fandor and I think you'll tolerate it.

Created about 2 years ago.

Not entirely convinced of the artistic value of graffiti removal, but it was thought provoking.

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