19 November 2009

Sponge Bob Ross – Graphic Façades #1




I first saw this paint effect creeping up on interiors of PB restaurants. Terracotta hues blotted around whimsically with a sponge to create an Italianate back drop for the pan-Mediterranean micro experience of eating a pizza. Italy equals terracotta sponge effect, simple. One sponge and so much atmosphere. It’s that suffix that’s problematic to me, italianate, meaning it’s vaguely something, like the Mexicali Auflauf that was served to friends of mine in Marburg on their German course, Mexicalianate Auflauf.

There is little we can do about the terracotta sponge effect, it seems, as it continues its ascent onto exteriors, too. Fitting, I guess, since this place is so often described as the most Mediterranean of the Northern cities. An example was unveiled recently on the Knopffabrik (yawn) on Prenzlauer Allee. Maybe that’s how they got away with it – ” it looks like a mineral facade” i.e. terracotta, which probably satisfies some vestigial Stimmann code. I say that without knowing if they even apply beyond the marbled carrees of Friedrichstraße.

“Look what I’ve done, everyone!”, the facade seems to say. Pupils contract to shield the iris from this radiating gaudiness to the silky and sonorous sound of an inner Bob Ross: “just like so”.  No, not like so! Maybe the artist attended a Bob Ross® Malkurs offered around Berlin. But you didn’t finish the job. What we’ve got is a Ross primed canvas for a landscape of the American Southwest. Still missing are the glorious palette knifed sunset and a few petrified trees sprinkled around.

But do you have to apply what you’ve learned to facades? Unless you are sponging Bob Ross’s giant ‘fro on a glitzy carree. That would be kind of cool. Can I ever have something in common with the person that finds this acceptable, agree on a stance on torture, or the financial crisis? Then of course, Bob Ross always struck me as warm and interesting person.