A gully washer (monsoon) had just stopped falling, the sky and road were still wet, I was on the I10 about 4 miles from Ash Fork, AZ - the flagstone capital of the United States when I drove around a curve and down into the wash, glimpsed this and was gone before it really registered. Very VERY impressive and effective art IMO.
I knew that the next time I was in that area, it would be gone. Even if it didn’t get painted over, the sun would have faded the color in less than a year, so I drove 3 miles to the next exit, turned around and back tracked 7 miles so I could pull on the shoulder and take a pic. Totally worth it and if anyone ever gives me the artists name and contact info, I will send him much praise and a little money.
I am in total agreement. How is the line drawn? Most folks here will admire the art and consider the effort it took for the artist to drag his supplies down into and across the wash to render his vision of an 8 foot tall monster, but that culvert belongs to the state and someone has to think about the children who will have nightmares after glimpsing that in the blink of an eye. (I’m not that someone, but I’m sure that someone is out there.)
BUT the State doesn’t care about graffiti on highways and culverts and kids have nightmares about stupid stuff all the time. This is amazing art and should be preserved just like we do pictographs for generations to come.
I have no idea what the artist was conceptualizing when they came up with this but as I look at it and try to put flesh over it in my mind I think it would be a very skeery critter indeed and I don’t know why the color choices were done as they were but the whole thing is undeniably art to me and if I had a blank wall on my property I’d love to host this piece on it. I think it’s a huge improvement over the plain culvert wall but I’m very tolerant of art in the wild–I love it as much as I detest stupid random tags that mean nothing, although sometimes those can become art if they’re done well enough but they generally aren’t.
But that’s the difference. If something is drawn or painted on a public surface that all or many members of the public enjoy, that is clearly very different to something that is important only to the artist but no one else. The former is social, and the latter is anti-social. The former is doing something with a public surface for the public, and the latter is having the selfishness and temerity to use a public thing for your own enjoyment to the detriment of everyone else.