art on a pole

Okay, Okay!! I know this is the second provocative blog title but trust me, this article is still safe for work. Indeed, the sort of illicit street art I’m referring contains poles, but perhaps not the kind your filthy minds were expecting. Graffiti Totems, Yarn Bombing, Sticker Slapping, and many more are all expressive forms of art that use a thin cylindrical tower as their canvas.

Totem Graffiti

intricate design or flea market castaways?

Graffiti Totems have been seen around in major cities where instead of classic paint or marker leaving a mark, boundaries are broken and items of all sorts speak to those passing by. Amy Orr, a street artist whose style depends on recycling common items such as credit cards or beads, has created her own twist on Graffiti Totems with collections of whozits and whatzits galore. You want thingamabobs? She’s Got Plenty!

Graffiti Totem 2

just stick to it, it’ll come

Stickers are peculiar in the art world for definition. Of course there is argument for creativity with the artists who create and design their own stickers and decide to broadcast their art in a less risky and more convenient manner (as opposed to painting a mural), but what about the people who litter poles in a creative manner with other people’s designs on the stickers? What about people, who instead of for the sake of art, place stickers at obscure heights for the sake of adrenaline and pride? The line becomes fuzzy and while all sticker placement is an illegal at of property defacement, to what degree do you consider it art?

cover your mouth when you yarn

Yarn bombingyarnbombingyarn stormingguerrilla knittingkniffitiurban knitting or graffiti knitting (all names provided kindly by Wikipedia.)

Sounds dangerous and intense, and quite frankly, that wouldn’t necessarily be a poor assessment either. Yarn Bombing requires a special combination of patience, vision, and healthy sense of adventure. Yarn Bombers will scout locations and landmarks, typically pole or tree-like, and then add their own special touch to it. The motive for almost all yarn bombs is simply aesthetic and an attempt to liven up an area. While still illegal, yarn bombing is probably one of the least prosecuted forms of street art I can think of. It bears a non-threatening message and unlike paint or carving, it is easy and minimal mess causing to remove.

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there’s always that one guy

who screws it up for the rest of us

Graffiti Pole Clean UpWhether you agree with me or not, you gotta admit that there is something completely different going on when we look at poles like this. Names and squiggly writing just don’t provoke the same emotions, rather the opposite. Defacing property with simple lines like this just doesn’t appear artistic. The question the remains; How do you determine the cut off of art and name writing. Similar to the sticker problem, art is in the eye of the beholder. While some works are drawing clouds, others are attracting city cleaners hired to repaint. This of course costs money and time for property owners. Graffiti Pole


Perhaps one day a city will designate their light posts and poles as public domain. Until that day know the law and determine the benefits of breaking it.

Thanks for reading, see you next week.



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