The debate about art endlessly fascinates.  Is it a means of communication or is it an end within itself?  Is the creation of art the transformation of the artist?  Or does the artist transform the medium?  Is each work a labyrinth through which the audience may discover themselves anew, or is the work completely independent of viewing?  There is no definitive answer to these questions.  Instead, these questions are answered with every creation and with every encounter, and the answers seldom agree and this is one of the beauties.

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300 million years ago plants began to modify some of their leaves.  They took shapes that set them apart from others.  These modified leaves are what we refer to as flowers.   Flowers are a means of communication.  They advertise through a language of shape, color, pattern and scent, and what they advertise is sweetness.

There are numerous other instances in nature.  Birds developed elaborate plumes to attract mates.  Other animals and insects developed camouflage to say they are not there, and most of the time we don’t even notice.  Others developed warning signs announcing for others to beware.

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Strolling along 6th Avenue, a sight caught my eye.  A mural was being created on a wall inside a building at the corner of 40th Street.  Even unfinished, the developing work had a halting affect.

With Banksy’s recent “residency” in New York City, Urban Art gained front page exposure, and this exposure sold a lot of newspapers.   There is an ongoing debate whether graffiti is vandalism, or perhaps a new type of patina for abandoned buildings.  Although Banksy’s visit steered the debate in a way that became an aggrandizing self-promotion, it also served New York City with a reminder, a reminder that most of the graffiti techniques that are sprayed all over the world originated here.  Most importantly, we are reminded of the astounding talent in this city.

So what does this mural say?  You must decide for yourself.  But when I walked by, what came to my mind was – Amazing!

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Art Battles began in Brooklyn in 2000 and has since achieved international recognition.


Check out the Art Battles at 6th Avenue and 41st Street. #ArtBattles, #5BryantPark, #NataliaRak, #ChorBoogie, #MaxEmbargo, #DonRimx


Garrett Buhl Robinson is a poet and novelist.  His website is at

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