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Postcards from the Pandemic VIII (Urban Art and All that is Dreamt)

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

One of the more enjoyable summer activities for a lot of folks here in Rochester, as I imagine in most communities, is the assortment of art festivals that connects artists and crafters to those individuals looking to patronize and shop for unique gifts. Obviously, that’s all gone away this summer, along with summer outdoor concerts and sporting events. Now mind you, I don’t get to enjoy weekend summer arts festivals anyhow because of the demands of paint and sip parties, but I do understand it’s the choice activity of those who enjoy art and its culture. Major galleries and art museums (at least here in New York because our infection rate is less than .99%) are open with restrictions.

However, there is an untapped source of art by talented artists who beautify the often overlooked and abandoned sections of our cities. Through murals and largescale paintings, (yes, these are paintings), voice contemporary issues facing our society. This graffiti is just not “tags” or the alias of the artists who created them, but it’s the voice of protest and the call to action by those who see it. Rochester has a rich cache of urban art. Some are in more higher profile locations like Rochester Public Market or an assortment of downtown bars or hiking trails. Some are true to graffiti nature and are tucked away on those structures and decaying architecture that are abandoned and serve as blank canvases.

Aerosol Nation, Change, Willistrator, are just some of the alter egos of those individuals who wish to be somewhat anonymous. In this time of social distancing yet beautiful summer weather, one can safely gather a couple of friends and go on an “urban expedition” to discover these hidden works of art. While the image of hunting graffiti conjures up imagery of sketchy back alleys and dimly lit industrial parks, I assure you that most of the places you would find the more quality work is safe and fairly accessible.

Needless to say, I’m inspired by these works that float like ghosts, appearing for a spell then disappearing only to have new work appear over it, like layering memories in your subconscious. It whispers phrases that confound you or can shout out the need for social change. I took my shot at a series of work done in smaller scale but with the ideology and methodology of a graffiti artist. With a lot in this post to visually digest, I will start with the series I did first entitled “Dreamt” (that would be my tagger name), then just display a good sample size of the works I’ve photographed over the last couple of years.

I would encourage you to post pics of graffiti that strike you and post it, or any other comments you might have on the topic. So, without further ado…

Dreamt 2020

By Bobby Padilla

Mixed media, 13"x16" (framed)

Dreamt... Blood & Paint- If it splatters it matters, 2020

By Bobby Padilla

Mixed media, 15"x18" (framed)

Dreamt - "O, Speak Again Bright Angel", 2020

By Bobby Padilla

Mixed media, 14"x18" (framed)

Dreamt - Hotpaint, 2020

By Bobby Padilla

Mixed media, 18" x 22" (framed)

This is a collection of pieces around the Rochester area that I enjoy and hope you do too.


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