Chicago is having a pasteup moment. This picture captures three of the pasteup images most common right now in my neighborhood – Hipster Guy, Office Monkey, and Doof with Tongue, on the wall surrounding the El tracks at Milwaukee Avenue and Logan Square.
I suspect each of these images has a proper title, but that last one, especially, will always be Doof with Tongue to me.
Pasteups are low-tech street art, communicating directly to any and all – inexpensive, simple to slap in place, best appreciated by the slow moving, like pedestrians and bicyclists, and far more transitory than spray-painted graffiti. The beautiful Avondale T. rex, for instance, is already no more. Another Hipster Guy that just appeared a few weeks ago on a storefront west of here is being slowly, relentlessly peeled away, scrap by scrap, probably by bored people waiting for the Diversey bus. Indeed, pasteups invite alterations – they exist to be not just observed but altered, by people and certainly by the elements. Sooner rather than later, they erode and vanish.
The underside of the Bloomingdale Trail at Milwaukee Avenue is a treasure house of pasteups and street art right now, including Doof with Tongue; part of a Funk & Jive; a gorgeous letterpress poster for a performance by Via Verso; a pastel drawing on a torn piece of cardboard, affixed to a crooked, precarious Tow Zone sign, of a pair of cockroaches; and this eerie thing here.
Honestly I’m thinking of doing this myself. It appeals to the side of me that is secretive yet aches to be heard. An image, a photocopier, and some wheat paste, and I’m in business.