The Atlanta Banana Guide to Dealing with Art You Don’t Like

This is a GREGMIKE art which is enjoyed by the editorial staff. Don't paint over it. PHOTO: Connor Eòin

We here at The Atlanta Banana are no strangers to dealing with art that doesn’t sit well with us. For instance, pretty much any work with the word “encaustic” on the wall next to it can take a hike. That’s okay, though, because that’s what art is about: liking some things and not liking others.

What’s not okay is grabbing a can of gray exterior latex and painting over artworks that don’t please your eye, as the residents of the Pittsburgh neighborhood did on Friday as reported by Thomas Wheatley of Creative Loafing.

Residents were upset that they weren’t consulted before the mural got painted because they do not understand how representative government works. We the people do not get consulted about every little detail. Our representatives do. It sounds weird, but that’s how America works. We looked it up!

Living Walls had all the permission it needed to invite French artist Pierre Roti to paint on the wall, but the Pittsburgh residents painted over it anyway. That was the wrong way to handle this one, guys. Painting over art is tantamount to book burning.

For future reference, here are some ways to deal with art you don’t like. These three methods can even be strung together in a series for maximum effect!

Method One: Shrugging

Probably the best way to deal with unwelcome or unsightly artworks is merely to raise both your shoulders slightly and go on with your day. This can be coupled with weird facial expressions to achieve varying levels of confusion, boredom, or dislike.

Method Two: Going somewhere else

Most murals, and in fact most pieces of visual art, are affixed to their supporting substrates, and are thus unable to follow you. Even a toddler can walk away from them, let along a grown human being who has a car. Try going someplace where the art is not and it won’t be there to bother you.

Note: Visual art is in this way unlike the music of Justin Bieber, or Carly Rae Jepsen, which can follow you pretty much anywhere you go and ruin your day time and again.

Method Three: Prayer

This is a great time to bust out some of that amazing prayer people are always so stoked about. Pray as much as you want against that art! Pray so hard your hair stands on end. Pray so hard your socks shoot off your feet and knock over your family knickknacks. Meditation also is a good substitute here, if that’s your thing.

Whatever the case, we can all agree that painting over a mural is the exact wrong way to handle matters. Let’s not be those people. We’ve already been those people before, and it never turns out nice-like.


  1. I have to speak to this.
    Art is not always pretty. That is not why somebody creates it.
    Art isn’t always easy, accessible or happy.
    Art is expression and is a gift from the artist. Sometimes it takes work to even begin to understand. That happens when the artist is respectful of the intelligence of the viewer. That is when the viewer can look at it and wonder what it is and what it means. When the viewer can wander back, look again and still wonder. Wander by, yet again and again, when it finally makes some sense, even just a little but.
    What else in life is so evocative?
    What else makes us think? Ponder? Wonder?
    Wonder is fun! It’s hard work and delightful!
    I didn’t see this particular work before is was desecrated.
    I did see the nude woman becoming clothed and becoming a black wolf before it left us. It was a difficult work of art. A WORK of art indeed! It told a story. It screamed the story. It deserved to be read, seen, heard, felt. It is gone and that is a tragedy. It was a not pretty wall in a not pretty situation, yet it spoke volumes to the viewer and was a monumental gift from the artist.
    When you don’t like the art, when you can’t hear it, when you can’t appreciate, enjoy, learn from it, just go somewhere else. Please leave it for the rest of us who need it and want it. It is valuable in its rawness, in its honesty, in its truth. Where else will we find what we need?

  2. …and sometimes art is really, really bad. Sometimes it is famous for its offensiveness (Piss Christ, anyone? Anyone? Thought not.). Just as anyone can set themselves up as a critic, anyone can set themselves up as an artist. Most artist could not produce worse abominations if they, themselves were dumped in a barrel of urine. Some art, such as Gurnica, inflames by the message. Some because the art itself is repulsive.

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