Posts Tagged ‘Classification’

Justin Valdes

Published December 17, 2009 by Molly




Impressive-looking art is often unimpeachable. Think of that massive topiary puppy by Jeff Koons or certain sculptures by Tom Friedman or anything by Dan Flavin: these things are beautiful and imposing and they do not look as though any human had ever touched them.

On the other end of the scale lies impressive-looking art that is somehow imminently approachable. Justin Valdes fits into this category, or maybe even exemplifies it. His drawings are intricate and calculated while offering the deception, at first glance, that anyone with a set of pencils and ink might eventually produce something so good. No one could, of course, but that’s part of the pleasure of taking in his work. He makes it look so easy.

A Taxonomy of Graffiti

Published July 23, 2009 by Molly


I remember a few things from 6th grade science class. One, it was the first year in which we were permitted to dissect animals. The first animal we dissected was an earthworm. The next was a frog. The third was a fish. My fish–or rather, the fish assigned to my partner and me–turned out to be afflicted with a disease that turned its insides into spinach-colored mush. I quietly put down my scalpel, walked to the girl’s bathroom, and barfed. The teacher allowed me to sit out future dissections.

The second thing I remember is learning about Carl Linnaeus, also known as the father of taxonomy. Linnaeus was the country-born scientist responsible for constructing the foundations of modern taxonomy. His innovations allowed future scientists to classify the natural world with greater ease and efficiency. Jean-Jacques Rousseau considered Linnaeus the greatest man on earth.

From Linnaeus comes many things: our system of binomial nomenclature, the fact that we call ourselves “homo sapiens”, and now, this: an exhaustive taxonomy of graffiti courtesy of the Fondation Cartier. Explore the exhibition online and make your own conjectures about how the graffiti alphabet came to be– the compilation provides a fascinating account of public art and private mischief.