The WPA Does Tom Blog

At one point of Terry Zwigoff’s Crumb, Crumb (the man, not the movie) riffles through a handful of Polaroids which he uses as drawing aids. The pictures show a series of street scenes, but instead of people or architecture they’re focused on utility poles, dumpsters, transformers, parking meters, newspaper racks and all the other bits of urban detritus which, as Crumb points out, we unconsciously block from our minds as we move around in the world. Simply swiveling your head from side to side while standing on any city street corner reveals just how much of this suppressed junk there is surrounding us—junk which, along with the acres of ugly advertising signage, does nothing but pollute our view of the places we live in. So it’s nice to imagine walking down the street and finding a well-funded effort to spruce the place up with a little whimsy and positive social feeling, and if it takes up space that would otherwise be filled by ads for Buick and Electrolux (or Lexapro and Apple), so much the better. And if that effort springs from a government agency whose only mission is to promote the health and happiness of its citizenry while incidentally throwing a few bucks at some talented artists on the side—why, then, yes, I can get behind that, too. Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely.

2 Responses to “The WPA Does Tom Blog”

  1. mary ann Says:

    fabulous posters…

  2. Tom Block Says:

    Yeah, aren’t they?

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