Combining the style of Heath Ledger’s Joker with the taste in art of Jack Nicholson’s, a mysterious figure is making enemies of the street artists of Tehran.
Known only as the Joker, he defaces graffiti and stencil art throughout the city, using red spray paint to leave behind the trademark smile and a simple scrawled signature. According to ABC News correspondent Muhammad Lila, the real mystery may not be the Joker’s identity but rather how he moves so quickly: He manages to deface new graffiti before typically prompt city workers can find and paint over it.
Sometimes, artists who make the jump from comics to galleries have been out of the drawing-funny-books business for so long, it’s hard to tell what their current feelings are toward the medium that gave them their first push forward.
For example, it’s been a while since I heard an interview with David Choe, but when I did, they all focused on what his Facebook stock options were worth, rather than if he had any plans to bring Slow Jams back into print. We’ll give Choe the benefit of the doubt, though: He may have chanced of becoming the fourth- or fifth-richest living artist (depending on whose estimate you believe), but he still seems to be living the same productive bohemian life he’s always led. Just this week, two new projects of his have reached the internet: some street art he collaborated on in LA, and the release of a screen-print based on a mural painted on the former home of Pablo Escobar in Medellín. The print is called “Stockholm Syndrome,” presumably a comment on the madness that overtook Columbia during Escobar’s reign.
Kris Akwei-Howe probably isn’t familiar with Dave Sim’s landmark Cerebus the Aardvark series, but he’s doing his part to keep him alive via another sort of landmark. The comic character used to adorn a bridge in Blyth, Northumberland, England until the county council cracked down on local graffiti and painted over it.
It sounds like it’ll be an uphill battle, as the mural’s artist is believed to have passed away and repainting it would be a criminal act, according to the head of neighbourhood services at the Northumberland County Council.