The toilet is a reminder of our primal bodily functions as we confront ourselves at one of our most insecure states of being. Each tile displays a stall graffiti Sophie Paranello and I extracted from the city of Pittsburgh and is preserved as its own unique piece by an anonymous artist.
Its preservation as a tile and commercial artefact testifies to a newfound permanence that comes together and exposes an underlying crudeness produced in these spontaneous, delicate moments of humanity.
Graffiti is scrutinized, praised, and disruptive. Bathroom graffiti isn't 'art'. I was interested in contextualizing it into higher value.
We started the project by fishing for graffiti at our school by taping butcher paper and tying a string and a Sharpie together. Then we moved on to bathrooms in bars to look for graffiti. The resulting project was a pop-up gallery experience scrapped together in the hallways with velcroed tiles on painted wood.
The tiles were for sale, and all proceeds were donated to Arts Out Loud Pittsburgh, an organization that aims to empower young people living in under-resourced communities through the arts, while providing local artists with the tools to develop projects and teaching opportunities that emphasize community engagement.