When it comes to famous street artists, there are a few household names; Art Master Tony, The Street Doctor, Painting Guy, and Spray Boy immediately come to mind. However, recently I saw something that led me to believe there is room for one more name on that coveted list of legendary geniuses who grace us with their alternative, urban art and force us to look in the mirror and realize the warped, twisted hellish cycle we subjugate ourselves to every day as we slave away in front of computers in our corporate prison cells. This is the story of how I discovered true art – and along with it, a manifesto of my pure admiration for the mastermind who has been creating such incredible, though provoking beauty throughout my city.
It was high noon on a Sunday and I was taking a regular stroll to my favorite dumpster – the one behind the Captain D’s a few blocks from my apartment. As I approached the giant green rusty receptacle, the buzzing of flies grew ever louder. It was a brutally hot day and I could feel the skin on my scalp itch as it expanded in the face of a harsh and unforgiving sun. On days like this, the heat was also quite unforgiving to the contents of the dumpster, and indeed, as soon as I became aware of the buzzing flies, the stench of rotten deep fried sea food which had been baked in the summer heat grabbed my full attention. I was on cloud 9.
I noticed that a shiny black trash bag was trapped in the lid of the dumpster. Its opening hung out of the top like a loose sleeve. This was a great sign – the dumpster was full! I sprinted the remaining 20 feet or so towards the garbage heap and wasted no time. I pushed the lid open as hard as I could and over a dozen bulging black bags revealed themselves to me. It was like Christmas morning – each bag was a gift with exciting, unknown treasures to offer me. I grabbed the fattest sack I could find and tore into it like a ravenous raccoon. It was FULL of rotten fried tilapia fillets. Perfect. Could my Sunday get any better?
I was only about 6 or 7 lbs in when I heard the familiar beeping sound of a garbage truck in reverse. The garbage men had arrived to end my orgy of rotten lust. I was upset, but saw the silver lining – I had gotten a gut full of rotten fish and could now enjoy the unforgiving heat and humidity on this summer’s day. My next stop was the park – a mere 8 mile walk down the highway. I began my journey.
An hour and a half later, I had nearly arrived at my destination – The South Atlanta Industrial park. Here I could relax and enjoy the smell of gaseous waste, the byproducts of some chemical process completely foreign to me. I gazed at the pipes and vats and took a whiff of what smelled like a mixture of diarrhea and burnt hair. I wondered if what I smelled was the greenish yellow mist slowly seeping from the short, wide container to my left, or the thick black smoke billowing from the tall skinny tower to my right. I didn’t mind – all I knew was that I was having an amazing lazy Sunday afternoon.
After inhaling the toxic air for hours on end, I decided it was time to leave, so I began on my route home. As I approached perhaps the most physically demanding section of the walk, (a 50 foot concrete wall that required scaling in order to exit the industrial park) I noticed a short sentence spray painted in red about 20 feet up, so climbed closer to get a better look. I can still remember the exact moment I read the words and just typing them out brings chills to my spine. It read”
Wake up America – Stop being a corporate slave and having a bull s*** 9 to 5 job – corporate pigs. WAKE the f*** UP! 8======D”
The words hit me like a ton of bricks. At once, I realized my place in society; a cog. I finally realized all of the ills of modern, western capitalist greed and my complacency in it all was suddenly at the forefront of my conscience. I felt like a rat turd floating in a sea of diarrhea. I was moved and inspired. This was perhaps one of the greatest artistic works of our generation. Its creator was both a singular poet and the embodiment of their poetry, portraying themselves as a beacon of light perched atop the concrete wall amidst a vast see of industrial wasteland.
If you’ve read this far dear reader, and are hoping for a name to attribute this beautiful poetry and social commentary to, I am afraid I cannot provide that information. The artist remains anonymous. However, I think it is safe to say that we are going to see a lot more of this clever trickster’s work around town in the future, so be on the lookout. If anyone sees words spray painted in red paint around town please let us know by emailing SkeletonRealm@gmail.com