Besides the really cool work showing up on our streets, part of the allure of new street art is the mystery of who did it and how. Depending on how anonymous an artist or group of artists try to be, it can be hard or impossible to find out who is responsible for some of our favorite creations. Right now, Chicago has a mystery on its hands, and it involves a pretty familiar board game character. It’s not the work of Alec Monopoly, but this art brings the Monopoly man back to life in some really cool ways on the streets of Chicago.
Last week, Colossal writer Christopher Jobson
discovered an oversized stack of Monopoly’s “Chance” cards near a church in Logan Square. He wasn’t the first to find huge Monolopy pieces on the street, it turns out. It turns out there were more than a few pieces of the board game scattered in the city, being tracked by people online, on sites like Reddit. Not only were there more pieces to the game, but sometimes the pieces themselves changed. The top cards on the Chance and Community Chest set were sometimes painted over and had new messages. Pretty soon, tons of people in Chicago were on the search for the artist responsible.
Jobson, one of the many to tweet, ask around, and e-mail anyone who could drop a clue as to who the artist or group of artists are, found some answers. The oversized cards out on the streets seemed to be signed “bored”, making it seem as though the tongue-in-cheek game cards were letters from someone who shared the sentiment. Jobson, via e-mail, made contact with the artist(s) now known as Bored. The e-mail from Bored expressed dissatisfaction with the world of street art in Chicago as it stands. It states that “the goal of this entire project has been to present something different than a stencil painted on the ground or a poster pasted to a wall. Something 3-dimensional that can be picked up, beaten down, kicked, yanked, grabbed, and broken. And if someone ever put forth the effort to remove it, like a weed it will always grow back. And if left alone it will evolve into something different.”
It’s an admirable artistic statement shrouded in mystery. The person or group responsible for the installations really does play with our expectations regarding street art, and rightly so. It is, like any form of art, something that should be played with, reshaped, changed, and open to the endless possibility that is human creativity. At times, any art form can be limited by expectation. The standard artists like Banksy created almost limits style. Critics and art lovers want more of what’s already been given to them and may even look down on street art expressed in other ways.
The artist or group now has a website, displaying a single quote: “If a man gives you lemons, throw them at douchebags. -Bored.” It’s a humorous little nugget that seems to match the art created. The font, if we’re not mistaken, is also a dead ringer for the title font for Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, known for their whimsy and surprisingly reflective and mature dialogue. It’s a great choice.
The site doesn’t have anything else on it (yet), but readers can check it out here. Have a look at some of the Monopoly pieces spotted on Colossal's site, thanks to the eagle-eyed Christopher Johnson.