Like the graffiti that it references, Ken Lum's newly installed sign showed up in various places around East Van before it arrived for real at Clark & 6th this week.
It was first seen at Knight & 33rd:
Then at the flatiron-like triangle at Main and Kingsway:
Here it is at Commercial Drive skytrain station, in S, M and L sizes:
And again, slightly further west, in S, M, L and XL:
Watching the sign move around town is like hearing the voices inside the head of Vancouver's public art unconscious. Where will the most number of people see it? Where will it offend the least number of people? How tall a sign can we afford? And perhaps most importantly: Will it obstruct anyone's views?
A similar conversation is now rolling through blogs and tweets as the city reacts. Many are for it (City Caucus, Vancouver Is Awesome, Vancity Buzz) and a few are against it. In an age when public reaction is driven by complaints and carping, this is an impressive ratio.
I'm biased, but to me the East Van sign does what really good art tends to do: it has an immediate, visceral effect on you; and then the more you think about it, the more ambiguous and interesting it becomes.
Kudos to the City of Vancouver and Mount Pleasant for taking the risk to install this beautiful artwork.