Anonymous street artist risks legal action to promote creative spirit

Anonymous street artist risks legal action to  promote creative spirit

A well-known local artist has been gaining infamy recently by using public property, mostly traffic signal boxes and JEA transformers, as his canvases. “Keith Haring’s Ghost,” as he refers to himself, says he wants to remain anonymous since the art isn’t about him. He chose the moniker (aka KHG) to pay homage to the late graffiti-based artist and social activist Keith Haring, whose work he emulates.

KHG began painting the pieces back in the summer of 2012 in the middle of the night throughout San Marco and Riverside to promote “peace,

Hendricks Avenue at LaSalle Street

Hendricks Avenue at LaSalle Street

love, equal rights for human beings” but also to make a statement about street art and its importance to the community.

Having heard that an arrest warrant has been issued for vandalism, KHG says he won’t be creating any new street art until the legal issues have been resolved. But the existing pieces (several have since been painted over by the city) are getting local residents to talk about the subject.

Murray Hill resident Jennifer Miles refers to the art as “inspiring” and believes they improve the city’s landscape, saying, “Wouldn’t it be great if the city embraced this opportunity and made ‘ugly’ city canvasses available through submissions?”

Steve Williams, an artist living in San Marco, agrees. “I think any time someone has a need to express themselves with something beautiful – even if just they think it’s beautiful – is important to try and figure out how to help make it happen,” he says. “Other creative exercises can often times be destructive. So let’s get behind anyone in our community who is trying to make a positive difference.”
That’s not to say some residents don’t have their concerns. Linda Olsavsky of San Marco says she has mixed feelings on street art. “I do enjoy [his work] and think it looks much better than those gray boxes, but I’m afraid this may open up the floodgates for others to follow suit,” she says. “I certainly would not like to see graffiti spray painted all over San Marco and Riverside.”

For now, KHG is just happy to be bringing attention to the issue. “I hope that street art moves forward by leaps and bounds,” he says. “Keep the conversation going, keep spreading the word, and let your city leaders know how you feel. We will win.”

By Kerry Speckman
Resident Community News

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