The Heretical Society
Demands the immediate cessation of the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia
The recent proliferation of crudely painted murals is an embarrasment to the city of Philadelphia. The Mural arts program, originally concieved to combat graffiti, is more destructive than the supposed malady it seeks to correct. Littering the inner city with bad paintings as a cure for urban blight is the aesthetic equivalent of ameilorating insomnia with crack cocaine.
When the themes are appropiate to the neighborhood, the designs are clearly standard. With very few exceptions, the artistic quality is amateurish,despite the fact that we have an extremly high concentration of artist in this city. THis odd disparity between poor quality and abundant talent is not an indicment of the arts community. It reflects the lack of discernment our city goverment invaribly exhibits toward the arts.
Philadelphia's best artist are not associated with the program. Is this due to a deliberate exclusion, or is it the result of the program being administered by a group of misdirected bureaucrats, as removed from the arts community as they are from constituency of our neighborhoods?
The time has come to abolish this system of cultural imperialism and degradation. Painted sloganeering of social issues does nothing to alleviate these problems. These murals act as a constant reminder of existing hardships, social and cultural. The people of Philadelphia do not need larger than life admonition of the painfully obvious. We are a great deal more sophisticated than that.
THE HERETICAL SOCIETY demands the immediate cessation of the Mural arts program, with its budget to be distributed among the causes it so ineffectually champions. All extant work of poor quality should be obliterated by being painted over in single colors. Any remaining funds should be donated to social agencies with relevant connections to the aggrieved neighborhoods.
The architect John Pawson talks about " the uncomplicated beauty of the unadorned wall."
We Demand this beauty.
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