Blek La Rat posted one of his infamous stencils of a homeless man lying on the street on the outside of the building, inside on a piece of canvas the piece cost $39,000, his advertising of homelessness as an aesthetic makes it acceptable, and quite expensive! I could pay for my college loans with that profit margin, or 8 years of my current rent. I wonder if his model got a stipend!?
He should certainly be praised for having turned abject poverty into a gratuitous money making enterprise, a spectacular feat! The image on the outside of the gallery doesn't speak of irony- that the homeless could be sleeping across the street, or in front of the building, but rather is a marker of safety. This style of street graffiti, while originally being a detournment of public space, has now been recuperated and serves as a marker of gentrification - the dislocation of people in the interests of capital. It tells the population that the area is now aesthetic with the beauty of refined low brow art. The kids in tight pants can feel okay walking around late at night! Finally!
First came the street artists with their stencils, but I wasn't a street artist. Then came the galleries, but I wasn't a hipster. Then came the bourgeoisie but I wasn't bourgeoisie. Then came the increase in rent that I couldn't afford anymore!