“Visual Pollution” is but one example of the numerous stenciled sociopolitical messages John Fekner has shared for nearly five decades. The multidisciplinary artist began painting thought-provoking words and messages on dilapidated buildings, abandoned vehicles and other outdoor spaces throughout New York in the 1970s, making him “anonymously known.” By labeling structures and emphasizing problems within the city, his objective was to call attention to the accumulated squalor by urging officials, agencies and local communities to assume responsibility and take action. Fekner’s ephemeral and ideological conceptual works emphasize art as a public experience.
BEYOND THE STREETS New York, 2019. Photo by Dan Bradica.