Painting as an art form has been challenged for the last two centuries in different movements dealing with the meaning and act of painting. In his latest book, Jim Sottile takes the century long debate about what constitutes visual art and applies it to an urban community’s relationship with street art. Referencing Duchamp’s readymades and Robert Rauchenberg’s erasure of a sketch by Willem deKooning, Sottile offers a photographic survey of painted over wall art as works in their own right.
The dialogue of “Going Over” occupies an interstitial state between an “established” graffiti practice and the response to cover it. The tension in this cycle manifests as a new visual piece as audience members complete the cycle of a creative act. The action of “Going Over” might be one that erases, redacts, or removes something with competing intention but the negation also completes a cycle of expression. Capturing the evolution of this dialog in two decades of photographs, Sottile suggests the presence of a work larger than a single image, labeling it a “paræikon.”