It’s not that I feel anything approaching spirit animal kinship with the raccoon. Quite the opposite; I’m actively afraid of raccoons. It’s not the symbolism of the masked animal. It’s not any kind of political statement. It’s not even that I find them visually compelling, although I do. My love for the raccoon has no defined foundation, but the stickers and stencils and paintings of street artist JustOneRaccoon have become totemic for me since I moved into this neighborhood. Whenever I see a new one, I photograph it and post it to Instagram. I don’t really need to look for them anymore; I can almost hear them. My peripheral vision is tuned to the raccoon. I’ll even notice the outlines where there used to be a raccoon head sticker and someone peeled it. There’s a fresh batch of designs starting to crop up now, and I have the fizzy anticipation of the fanatic every time I go out somewhere new. It’s always raccoon season.
My life is pretty interesting to me, but a lot of it doesn’t make for very good storytelling. My friend Kaitlyn’s life, however, is fascinating and she’s a very good writer. She’s a brave girl, and her adventures sometimes make for such good reading that she is periodically published on travel blogs. She’s on vacation right now, and has been sending amazing emails about what she’s doing. She gave me permission to cross-post some of them here so my readers can get an exciting break from my (pulse-pounding) posts about going to the flea market and finding the perfect strand of beads. Not that I’ll stop telling you about that. You’d miss it. Here’s her first installment:
Perfectly perfect day in San Diego on Monday.
Their Museum of Contemporary Art has a “Viva La Revolucion” exhibit showing street art installations by artists from a bunch of different countries. The art ranged from a painted brick wall with a face pecked out of the white paint to giant graffiti-like murals, plants growing out of a pile of found objects including a mobile of empty bottles, a stop motion animation film taken from drawings on public walls and buildings, works by Banksy and Shepherd Fairey and lots of people I’d never heard of. Gorgeous, riveting, thought provoking; everything art should be.
However, my favorite part was the education room where the walls were covered with paper made to look like a stone wall and you could react to the exhibit by “tagging” the wall. One person reacted by writing a simple treatise about how graffiti is a way for homeless youth to express their artistic natures but it costs the city money that should be spent getting kids off the street and so graffiti is a waste of money and kids should tag their houses, not the public walls. (Logically, of course, homeless youth clearly don’t have houses to tag; but no matter…). It’s funny enough that someone graffitied a fake stone wall to protest graffiti but then two other people took offense to this reaction and wrote “boring” and “narrow viewpoint” on it.
They graffitied an anti-graffiti reaction in an art installation glorifying graffiti.
Dude, that’s hilarious.