Fan Mystery Art
During my perambulations to and from work I’ve noticed wood panels painted with words and figures affixed to the metal supports of street and parking signs. I managed to capture this one during the few days it was on Strawberry Street, but another was removed before I caught it. The one that got away featured a portrait of poet Larry Levis (1946-1996) on a backdrop of words from his writing. Levis, raised in Fresno, Calif., during his career earned three poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He taught at VCU from 1992 until his death, and he was beloved here, and I often saw him at art openings and events.
I’m not sure if this is a quotation from him, but perhaps readers can get back to me on this matter.
Artist and blogger Martin Bromirski referred to these as "street boards." He preserved a few for posterity and also linked to another "anonymous artist" named Larry Lorca who has a masive flickr compilation of these now-you-see-them-soon you-won't artistic efforts.
I enjoyed the art because it provided aesthetical interruption to the photocopied-and-stapled thrum of the community talking to itself, about lost cats, drummers needed, garden apartments for rent and a VW van for sale. And unlike other forms of urban expression, these street boards don't leave marks or stains that require expensive acid baths or paint over jobs.