Street art is something I never ignored. Bright colors, funny shapes, and bold messages always grasps my attention during my inner city travels. Contrastingly, chicken scratch illegally spray painted on a United States Post Office mailbox catches my attention too, but instead of staring in awe, I look away in disgust.
There has always been an ongoing debate on graffiti. Some say it’s art, others say it’s a form of vandalism. Ultimately, it comes down to a person’s motives at heart and if the graffiti has been approved to be there. The presence of tagging in the streets is often looked upon at as “gang territory” or delinquency. “Mural” by NYC Art Cypher shows politicians like, Andrew J. Lanza often expressing their urgency to lock up those who vandalize. On the other hand, several artists believe criminal actions comes with the territory.
In the documentary, Infamy, Earsnot steals from stores and damages property in order to leave his “signature”. His immaturity and egotistic mindset makes it hard for proper street artists to exhibit their work. Earsnot believes his name on a rusty mailbox leaves his print on NYC, but he is sadly mistaking. Committing crimes in order to do things out of spite is no way to live. Don’t get me wrong, street art is beautiful only when done correctly and appropriately. Murals are art, but tagging is not.
Though I am against tagging at all costs, street art has positively impacted my life. Street art unifies my high school community. During my sophomore year of high school, a student named Rayquan passed away of terminal cancer and a mural was created to commemorate his life. The mural was done by a group of students from RAW arts who specialize in street art. The students used bright colors and incorporated everything that made Rayquan who he was into the mural. At an event called “Locks of Love”, the street artists presented the mural to our school and it solidified our community during a time of need. Here is what the mural looks like:
The difference between Rayquan’s mural and tagging is that it had permission to be there and it was executed in a presentable fashion. His life is celebrated through art and it has become a landmark in our community. Art is a powerful thing when used correctly. I’m sorry but swiggly lines and illegible handwriting on the side of a rusty stop sign will never be art to me.
Infamy. Dir. Doug Pray. Perf. Claw and Earsnot. Infamy. 1171 Production Group, 18 Sept. 2015. Web. 2 Apr. 2017. -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3WUXA3V7nY
"Mural" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3WUXA3V7nY
At a grocery store, $4 is a head of lettuce, tomatoes, and a cucumber. At Wendy’s, $4 is a double cheeseburger, French fries, 4 pc chicken nuggets, and a fountain drink. One might ask, how can you remain healthy if society requires that are you economically stable in order to do so? When looking at rural versus urban health, you notice citizens who live in rural areas have less access to proper healthcare, nutritional meals, and live sedentary lives.
Health isn’t something that should be unattainable based on what you can afford. Hence, our society needs to create easier ways to access affordable food rather than capitalizing on fast food. Eating right allows you to grow mentally and physically which should not be a privilige. After acknowleding the gap in healthcare between urban and rural settings, it makes me question if location has just as much as an impact on one's health.
In Bill Davenhall’s TED talk “Your Health Depends on Where You Live”, he expresses how though he lived a healthy life with frequent exercise and proper meals, he still faced a heart attack later in life. It was because he was living in areas with high pollution rates in the United States. The fumes and gases from factories are destroying ecosystems and making it more likely for people to get asthma and other life-long illnesses.
Mass production of clothing and a McDonald's cheeseburger should not be more important than one's health. As a nation, we care more about our economy than the health of our people and that is a BIG problem. Therefore, there needs to be more solutions to bridge the gaps in healthcare.
In “Why Urban Health Matters”, one of their action steps is to “make urban areas resilient to emergencies and disasters” (World Health Organization 15). Vague, vague, and vague. How can you make urban areas more adaptable if you can’t predict emergencies that will arise in the future? You never know what can happen. For instance, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, FEMA, the Red Cross, and the UN tried to make the country more resilient. However, Hurricane Matthew in 2016 wiped away all their hard work.
Emergencies are not predictable. That’s why they are emergencies to begin with. Making cities and countries less susceptible to disaster is not a realistic solution. Educating people on the value of health and providing more healthcare officials will create equality in rural and urban healthcare.
Your Health Depends on Where You Live. Perf. Bill Davenhall. Youtube. TEDMed, 25 Jan. 2010. Web. 7 Apr. 2017.
"Why Urban Health Matters." World Health Organization. World Health Organization, 2010. Web.
The fashion industry has become the modern day Space Race. Bloggers, designers, and models compete against each other just like the Soviet Union and the United States. Shopping isn’t walking into a boutique and picking out an outfit anymore, it’s a sport.
Competition. Models compete on the runway and in photoshoots, designers look to be the most creative at all times, and bloggers are camera ready to say “What’s in?” and “What’s out?”. Modern day shopping is now an experience, rather than a chore and because of this there is always a competition to see who can make that experience best for consumers. Music playing in the background at stores and celebrities wearing brands are just as important as the clothing themselves.
The brands that are the most successful in giving consumers an “experience” have a concrete identity. For example, Opening Ceremony in “The Future of Fashion” make their store apart of their community through music and interior design. Moreover, Marc Jacobs as described in Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster created a specific logo and print unique to Louis Vuitton which makes his designs unforgettable (Thomas 24). With the combined perspectives of social rules and economic strategy, designers are now able to reach new audiences through social media.
Social media has a huge impact on the fashion industry. In “The Future of Fashion” CEO Brooke Wall says, “[The question] now is how many followers do they have?” Social media heightens a brand’s popularity. The more followers someone has, the faster they can get the word out. Celebrities like Kylie Jenner have the power to launch people’s careers and brands with a single Instagram post. Because of social media, people literally have power at the tip of their fingertips.
Understanding the importance of social media, makes a designer more likely to solidify their image and build their brand. However, social media also has the ability to deteriorate one’s brand because there aren’t many laws that protect their work, so anyone has the ability to take someone’s idea and claim it as their own. This is where law in fashion should come into place.
Trends do not last because people are constantly adopting other people’s ideas as their own which makes it no longer unique. After Kim Kardashian cut a piece of material off her jeans, the jean choker was born. However, due to a lack of patents, that was then adopted by FashionNova and other brands. If I can’t use Rousseau’s philosophies as my own, why should someone be able to use someone else’s design for a dress?
There should be discipline within the fashion industry because creativity is expensive. New ideas are hard to come by which is why they should be sacred. Ultimately, fashion is the race for relevance promoted by consumers and societal standards.
Thomas, Dana. Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster. New York: Penguin, 2008. Print.
The Future of Fashion with Alexa Chung in New York. Perf. Alex Chung. The Future of Fashion with Alexa Chung in New York. British Vogue, 12 Apr. 2016. Web. 3 Apr. 2017.