Dirty Jew

8 Mar

By Dreyfus Amadeus Diallo for SUDINmag |

POBE is an alias. It hides the name and identity of one of New York’s most notorious graffiti artists. It obscures definition.

POBE fill-in on Manhattan’s Lower East Side

POBE would be mad if he was aware that he was being called an artist. He is a vandal. His work might display certain elements of style – flourishes that a professor could define and teach – but its purpose and motivation is not the creation of beauty. His art, if you must call it that to justify placement in this magazine, is that he gets over. He gets by. He gets through. He gets his.

When your mission is to make more dirty an already ruined city, you are facing a gloriously epic struggle. When your hope is to heap garbage on top of garbage and to exploit the criminal dystopia that is an abandoned and hapless Metropolis with scratched inkings of confused, cacophonic wordings, you have no choice but to abandon fair play and, instead, transcend into a form of communication-less rebellion. This is artless art.

Born in New York’s Upper East Side and with relatively acceptable if boring circumstances attending his youth, POBE could have slipped ever deeper into the ether of mediocrity and conformity. But, deep, dark forces conspired to show him the sweat-soaked streets were suspicious, phony and harboring denizens of soulless masses. POBE wanted none of that. He began bombing – hitting the streets with his name and his cohorts. He took the ugly from behind the façade and brought it forward. At attention. He goes out each night and seeks to make each piece look like the last piece. He is matching size, shape and speed. Consistency and coverage are his only concerns.

He is Jewish. He should be at JCC Meetings. Maybe sipping bad wine while playing geographical games with dames. But, he has already moved past that. He loves when the hood cats, cops and other robbers discover his religion and culture. They never seem to realize a Jew could get that dirty or could move that forward, that fast. Why not? POBE is not determining the direction for Jewish identity in New York. He is transcending it and, by so doing, making it indeterminate. POBE believes a Jew can be anything he wants. Even if he wants to be nothing more than the next guy with a spray can.

POBE 113, MPH, BP, 357

Comment Form