"Gray Ghost" Fred Radtke has made a great deal of noise in the press for his anti-graffiti vigilantism over the past few years, and New Orleanians are divided over whether his self-appointed judge-jury-and-editor approach is welcome or not. The local rocker mag Antigravity published a series of articles on his vendetta against taggers and street artists, and the Marigny grocery Mardi Gras Zone collected over a hundred signatures hoping to ban him from their immediate neighborhood, while the Downtown Development District apparently joined forces with him.I've heard more than one person comment that his variable shades of pale gray, painted in freehand squares and rectangles over the offending graffiti, take on a weird, found-art look of their own as they proliferate - especially along stretches like the Chartres St. levee wall, which sports dozens of neatly blocked patches of Radtke's paint. Now, it looks like some artists are reimagining the cover-up jobs as irresistible canvases for new work. I particularly dig the Cassette Guy, who details the Ghost's more rectangular efforts to turn them into those hip musical artifacts of the pre-iPod era. The cluster of tape paintings above decorates the window of an empty storefront on Wilkinson Row, in the French Quarter; the large, lonely cassette below, recently brightened up with Easter-chick yellow paint, welcomes visitors to the arty edge of the Bywater on Chartres and Clouet St.


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Add a comment