Nokia tells you they ‘connect people’, McDonalds assumes ‘your lovin’ it’, Nike urges you to “Just Do it”, Sprit commands you to ‘Obey your thirst’, Mastercard decrees thy are ‘priceless’–wherever we go we are bombarded with things to purchase. Being persuaded to consume a product is such a regular part of our daily routine that we are set aback when something plastered on walls is not selling us the next best product on the market. The graffiti artist Gabriel Spector, a Brooklyn resident, tampers with billboards intervening the capitalist landscape causing one to jerk their neck and debate his art in a state of stupor. Location is just as crucial as the form of art itself; he carefully and meticulously analyzes his canvas locations to jar passersby and stir conversation. When one walks down the gentrifying streets of Bed-Sty walls plastered by graffiti sodden in political awareness—starving African children cradled next to a fast food “Hungry?” sign, hipsters using kufiya (Arab headdress) scarves as hair fashion, the Stephen Job’s angel looming over society, and humbug vagabonds appropriating hipster rags and tatters fashion.
It’s the thrill of knowing that his art causes debates, stirs up commotion, that it can be modified by any citizen and most of all that’s its temporary—not letting his audience become used to his political wall art and take it for granted, but rather look forward to his next piece of artwork, its location, and its intent. Although some have tagged his work as being outright offensive Specter assertively says, “It’s about taking what has been historically an uneasy topic and making people more comfortable with the idea of talking about it.” Albeit, in all irony, the presence of his graffiti in Bed-Sty echos the gentrification and influx of Caucasian struggling artists. (you can take this last sentence out if you want since its a bit bias and could be offensive)
If you got interested on his work, check more pieces on his website.