Paint Wars Continue

Jul 24, 2008 by

So I was just leaving the lumber yard on N. Peters & St. Ferdinand, when I get a text message from Rex Dingler, asking me to go look at a sign Dr. Bob made, welcoming vistors to the Bywater. It sits on private property, owned by NOCCA, a bastion of the arts, next to X/O Gallery, another bastion of the arts. The sign itself was hand painted by local legend, Dr. Bob, who has his work displayed in the Smithsonian Museum, and on Oprah Winfrey’s wall, for crissake.

And there it is. A two by three foot sign, beautifully trimmed in bottle caps, as Bob’s pieces are, usually from Jax beer or Barq’s Root Beer. It’s professionally mounted on posts, up and out of reach, nestled under some shady trees, adding that Mayberry touch to our quirky bohemian neighborhood.

Except for the grey paint. Battleship ugly fucking grey paint, rolled sloppily over the face of the sign, leaving obvious roller patterens and see-through spatter. That Asshole From Hell, Fred Radtke, has been here.

This is not graffitti we’re talking about. This is not a ‘clean sweep’ or neighborhood beautification.
This is a vindictive act by a small and petty man, making an ugly fucking mess in a neighborhood he does not live in, or represent; a neighborhood that doesn’t want him here, and has petitioned the city to keep him away. He has childishly desecrated a sign, I repeat, A SIGN, not graffitti, that welcomes vistors to our funky slice of heaven. And he has marred the work of a local artist renowned enough to have been asked by the Smithsonian Museum, in Washington, DC, to display his work in their Folk Art Exhibit.

I, for one, and call me crazy if you will, would prefer that Dr. Bob’s art work, whether you like it or not, keep the “New Orleans Brand out there” rather than a skyrocketing murder rate and out-of-control thug behavior by our police force. But that’s just me.

Still, the police refuse to arrest him, and Sgt. Joe Narcissi keeps calling him “our friend”. Do you think we could be Sgt. Joe’s friend, too, if we, say, rolled grey paint over every fucking one of those illegal political signs that litters out neighborhoods and intersections? Would Judge Bonin thank Sgt Joe for allowing us to paint over all his re-election signage that spatters the Marigny/Bywater? And how about all those little signs on spindley metal legs that crowd every intersection? Those are illegal, according to city law.

WE ARE NOT THE FODDER OF THEIR WORLD, PEOPLE.
Don’t take this shit laying down.

Come to X/O Gallery this Saturday, from Noon ’til 6pm, and paint.

Make free art, to be given away, or sold to buy art supplies for school kids.
[Actually a good bit of the art will be auctioned/raffled off that evening at the FYYFF Fundraiser at One Eyed Jack’s. Huge props to Micheal Dingler for getting involved! I’ll be posting full details later tonight – Loki]
Look at the ugly grey paint on the sign that welcomes you.
Fight back with beauty, with fun, with love & sharing.
Otherwise….well, I can hear Bob’s blood pressure rising from my house.

There’s no doubt that Radtke did this because Dave Bachli spoke out in a video interview with Doug McCash, that wound up on nola.com. And because Rex Dingler is sponsoring a free art event there this Saturday. So this block has been singled out by the Man With The Get Out Of Jail Free Card. While they’re looking, let’s show them what community art is all about, because next thing you know, some cop will be waving a gun around in front of school children…
…Oh, wait…

Lord David
Pirate & Artist
Skull Club
New Orleans