At The Black Sheep, we are not only cutting-edge, paradigm-shifting journalists and thought leaders — we’re also sensitive, cultured consumers of the world. To that end, we have spent the greater part of a poop analyzing the graffiti in the Perkin’s men’s bathroom, the second stall from the right, in an attempt to understand what these modern-day Emily Dickinsons have to tell us. Who are these collegiate Banksies, and how do you pluralize Banksy?
(Click on the pictures to make them bigger!)
Here we see a piece that seems unfocused at first, only to reveal itself as an intricate work of social commentary, as many of the subsequent stencils we examine will be. The key here is the “Free Lil Boosie” exhortation, a reminder of rapper Lil Boosie’s incarceration in 2009 for marijuana possession. To the left is 420 grafted onto a right angle, telling us that cannabis is, indeed, all “right.” The 0 in 420, further, is a magnifying glass, asking us to look closer not only on Lil Boosie’s controversial arrest, but also at the greater unjustness of the War on Drugs.
The Poop-Seeing Eye
To the left of the previous piece is this biting political critique of the surveillance state. The Seeing Eye triangle is a clear reference to the pyramid on the back of a dollar bill, symbolizing the government. It is always watching you, even, as the words below cleverly point out, in your most vulnerable position. If you look back to the previous piece, you’ll notice another triangle, but this one with a downward-pointing arrow. The two triangles complement each other, and the down arrow reflects the downward state of our country, in this case literally into the shitter. “The government is dirty,” the artist seems to be telling us, like the harkening of Gabriel’s trumpet. “Our system is not clean.”
Negative Pressure Sucks
On the door of the stall facing the occupant, you are greeted with another play on the eye motif. On one hand, this only reinforces the CCTV-esque aura that the previous work explained. But it also expresses several unique dynamics. The “Negative Pressure Sucks” in the upper right implicates not only the US but also Russia (in the upper-right of a world map) for their Orwellian tactics, as well. It reflects a broader critique of the world order; the eyes in general reflect the Illuminati New World Order, but dualistically remind us to be watchful of challenges to our liberty. The line looping leftward from the right side of the eye also mimics a spiral, indicating the hypnotic effect that the shallow securities of a totalitarian regime have on us. The very thought of a New World Order, however, inevitably reminds us that our greatest threat is not a 1984-like scenario, but instead Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, in which we become slaves to our own pleasures. Truly this is a piece of staggering insight and bravery.
Werd U Drunk
Most noticeable here is the “UDrunk?”, challenging the reader to examine their own awareness of the themes mentioned above. The interlocking U and D implicate the University of Delaware, too, in this deception. We are not only drunk individually, and in the physical sense, but institutionally as well. We are morally drunk. The bastardization spelling of “word” as “werd” to the left is but one example of this. Our spiritual intoxication has led us to manipulate language to our own selfish ends. We are attempting to change words to werds, a form of communication that deceives its audience to keep the rich and powerful safe.
On the right side of the stall, this simple installation piece thematically ties together all the previous pieces, reminding us of Lil Boosie, the dangerous and crushing power of the surveillance state, and the hampered moral sobriety of the viewer. It also asks us to legalize weed.