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The bronze statue of Rocky near the Philadelphia Museum of Art irked Jessie Hemmons. She found the statue too big, too macho and too touristy, so last month Ms. Hemmons, a 24-year-old artist, bombed him. With pinkish yarn.

Using a stepladder and a needle, Ms. Hemmons stitched a fuchsia-colored hooded vest on the fictional boxer with the words “Go See the Art” emblazoned across the front, to prod tourists to visit the museum that so many skip after snapping their photo with the statue.

She calls the act of artistic vandalism “yarn bombing,” adapting a term for plastering an area with graffiti tags.

“Street art and graffiti are usually so male dominated,” Ms. Hemmons said. “Yarn bombing is more feminine. It’s like graffiti with grandma sweaters.”

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Malia Wollan
New York Times

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A toothless garbageman who once wandered Hong Kong’s streets with dingy bags of ink and brushes tied to his crutches is now the subject of a major retrospective. About 300 calligraphic works by the late Tsang Tsou-choi — who is best known by his self-dubbed title, the King of Kowloon — are showing at the ArtisTree art space in a high glass tower.

The show, “Memories of King Kowloon” (until May 31), in a spacious corporate-sponsored dimly lighted gallery, quiet as a library, would have been foreign territory for Mr. Tsang. He was most at home under the tropical sun and neon lights. An outsider artist, he spent half a century dodging security guards and police officers as he obsessively covered lampposts and mailboxes, slums and ferry piers, with his distinctive Chinese text.

Mr. Tsang, who died in 2007 at the age of 85, created an estimated 55,000 outdoor pieces, almost all of which have been washed away, painted over or torn down by the authorities and real estate developers. He was a rebel graffiti artist decades before it was fashionable, creating art brut in a city that has no time for outsiders.

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Joyce Hor-Chung Lau
New York Times


(Photo: Margherita Stancati/The Wall Street Journal)

On a recent afternoon, a group of American diplomats gathered on Rome’s cobblestones with buckets and rollers, spreading peach-colored paint across the weather-beaten façade of a medieval storefront. Their mission: To cover up the swirls of graffiti lining one of Rome’s oldest neighborhoods.

“It’s just so sad and so devastating,” said Rebecca Spitzmiller, an American lawyer living in Rome, who donned rubber gloves and a dust mask. “We’re retaking Rome.”

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Margherita Stancati and Stacy Meichtry
Wall Street Journal


(Photo: Luna Park)

In my travels across New York City documenting street art and graffiti, I’m always excited when I stumble across full-blown illicit installations. While stenciling and wheatpasting continue to explode in popularity, it takes another level of commitment, chutzpah if you will, to pull off something more involved.

Using salvaged or re-appropriated materials, NYC street artists are both piggybacking their pieces onto existing street furniture and brazenly installing work of their own. There are highly skilled carpenters and iron workers amongst the ranks of artists — the sole unifying factor in an otherwise diverse group is the placement of their work on the street. Some pieces last but a few hours, but you’d be surprised how many fly under the radar and run for years.

To see images, go here.

Luna Park
Guest post on Hrag Vartanian’s Hyperallergic