Barking Pink General

092304_patton_w498.jpg

Snapped this fresh piece of street art pasted on a vertical I-beam on Spring Street near the southwest corner of Lafayette St., right where SoHo begins to morph into NoLIta. So, let’s deconstruct a bit, shall we? Here we’ve got a disembodied head of a middle-aged man wearing an army helmet. He’s a commander barking an order. The man resembles the infamous General Patton, who was one of the great military architects of Allied victory in World War II. He was one tough mofo, a serious alpha-male raised by the a club of ultra alpha-males. What makes this street graphic much more visually arresting is it’s color, pink, which is often thought of as feminine, sweet, cute, delicate and pretty–in other words, everything that a four-star general isn’t. So, to get back to semiotic the deconstruction … the pink color, in effect, symbolically emasculates a violent, male authority figure, while simultaneously forcing the viewer to extend the connotations of pink to include the potent imagery of martial aggression. (Yeah, whateva!)

Typhoon Photo