Machine Age Graffiti

Machine Age Graffiti
William Brouillard
Born 1947
Artist Biography
Acquisition Number: 2009.8
Medium: Earthenware
Size: 24" x 16" x 36"
Date: 2009
Credit: Purchased by Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLP in memory of John P. Van Abel.

"Machine Age Graffiti" speaks to our complex interactions with technological change and its impact on our lives and spiritual values. The tsunami of the technological imperative promises everything, but ignores the costs of its adoption. Many of us now revere technology in a mystical way, as we would with organized religion. I have replaced traditional urban graffiti figures with technological counterparts. The Tech figures are rendered much as steam-punk or eastern orthodox religious imagery would be. They are surrounded by stylized scientific notation and images of analog tools. Living and working in the city of Cleveland, I would travel on most days between my work place at the Cleveland Institute of Art to my ceramics studio in Tremont. Tremont is in the old steel-making district. The drive took me past lots of old buildings covered with graffiti. Those memories of abandoned buildings and brick streets are echoed in the forms and images used in this work. The brick base is made from molds taken from Cleveland street paving bricks. One of the bricks is stamped "Canton," in honor of Canton's major brick maker, The Belden Brick Company. - William Brouillard