Houston’s Coming Cuddly Animal Invasion

HOUSTON’S COMING CUDDLY ANIMAL INVASION Look out for a migration of flamingoes, and a few more bunnies for Easter, announces the Houston Press‘s John Nova Lomax, after an interview with stencil artist Coolidge. “A lot of people are like, ‘Aw, you need to do a cat!’ or ‘You should do a rhino!’ or something, and I’m like, ‘Well, if I was gonna do that, I’m not now.’ . . . It’s almost like I should stop doing them on city property. I should probably stick to private property. Some people have contacted me to thank me after I’ve done their buildings up. The city won’t mess with that stuff, but if it’s on their property they’ve been taking them down pretty quick.” [Art Attack] Photo of Taylor St. bridge at I-10: Alex Luster

41 Comment

  • I love Coolidge’s work. I miss the pig that was there where the penguins are now.

  • It’s vandalism, period, and it could subject property owners to fines from the city if they don’t paint over it (graffiti ordinance). Some people might think it’s cute, but a lot of people think it makes Houston look trashy when we have graffiti all over the place.

  • To put Coolidge in the same category as gangsta tagging is very sad. Rouge artists like Coolidge and Knitta Please keep Houston from being a stifling hot mess of consumerism, pollution, traffic and conformity. Many times I have been creeping through traffic, ready to blow a fuse when I spotted one of Coolidge’s works, and suddenly I was hoping to have an extra turn at the light to snap a pic with my cell phone.

  • i tried to leave them my most favorable comment. i tend to hate street art with a passion, coolidge and give up included. something about the middle school level of ambition that hastily produced paintings on other people’s stuff brings to mind. the relevance of street art died a long time ago and is not progressing any new ideas.

    i understand a lot of people do like it, but we live in a democracy and the majority has voted NO. nobody’s rights are being trampled on here except the property owners.

  • oh, and also, there’s so many different ways to get art out into the public eye that doesn’t involve the desecration of property. if anyone truly wanted to be an “artist” rather than a local facebook celebrity then they would explore these oppurtunities.

    i mean look at the stuff that christo and jean-claude have been able to do as one of the more notable examples. it still retains the ephemeral and lighthearted fun of graffiti, but provides a lasting image and the scale of it all makes it so much more impressive.

  • Sorry if I seem a bit intolerant, but I’m tired of getting raped on my property taxes every year, and we taxpayers have to fork over our hard-earned money so the city can spend untold hundreds of thousands of dollars cleaning this stuff up. I fail to see how street gang graffiti costs any less to clean up than “street art”

  • @Jason, sounds like your beef is really with the failure that is our out-of-control local government.

  • Love Coolidge– his pigs, t-Rex and little ponies make me smile. :)

  • Give Up makes original art on paper which is wheat-pasted up and then eventually comes down on its own. Coolidge is apparently spray painting and using stencils. One of these people is an artisit. Discuss.

  • Hey haters, stop hating. they are fun, so just just enjoy the art of it.

  • To Finness-Give Up is a custom wallpaper hanger, and what a dumb name or message or whatever it is. “Give Up.” Hey Give Up, give up. I don;t want to look at no razor blades when I’m sitting in the hot ass traffic.

  • Houston needs more street art, and fewer grumps…

  • i’m with freddie j: ligthen up haters. love t rex, haven’t seen the ponies

  • Freddie – Not saying you have to like someone’s art for it to be art. I don’t like Picasso. And don’t even get me started on contemporary art, like the painfully common old object assembly or sticking things to things. All I’m saying is that child-like stenciling isn’t art. It may be fun and cute, but it isn’t art. (And the painted over Coolidge remediation is an eyesore for sure!)
    Rent the movie “Exit Through the Gift Shop” – a great commentary on what passes for art these days.

  • What if, instead of just a couple of people doing this, there were 50? Is it art because it’s rare? If it’s everywhere does it become clutter? I think it would. Therefore it’s art because so few other people are willing to paint on public property.

  • Finness, are you one of those people who think people who appreciate contemporary art are fools? I’m sorry you don’t like Picasso and who knows who else. You’re missing out on a big part of life.
    Enjoy those Thomas Kinkade paintings…

  • While Coolidge’s art is cute, he (she?) has done it on more than one of my buildings. That’s grafitti, against the law, and vandalism to my property.

  • I think some of you are missing the point. It is illegal/vandalism and that is why they do it. If it was allowed/legal I’m pretty sure Coolidge wouldn’t want to do it anymore. I find them amusing, but if the authorities catch this guy/girl in the act they should be fined. If he/she is willing to take the risk, that is on them and I will sit back an enjoy their Guerilla Art because it makes me smile.

  • Wow, so much hate for art that takes the mundane and makes it a enjoyable glance as you drive by. Maybe all the haters should grab a pair of binoculars and climb up to the top of the stucco turrets in front of their homes to police the city for vandals.

  • I wonder if Coolidge would consider volunteers who would like a stencil art on their property. I’d love a Coolidge on my house. Quick, before we become an Historic District because I would want to see it from the street.

  • Jane, I think the answer is “yes”: “I should probably stick to private property. Some people have contacted me to thank me after I’ve done their buildings up. The city won’t mess with that stuff, but if it’s on their property they’ve been taking them down pretty quick.”

  • I like Coolidge, Give Up, and a few others. They make me smile when I pass by them. Part of what makes them special is that so many people find them such a nuisance.

  • OH LIGHTEN UP PEOPLE! This city has such a lack of public art that these should be embraced as art. Perhaps he could ask permission from some property owners, then it would not be vandalism nor would it have to be painted over (according to Sour Puss Jason on an earlier post.

  • Why are people “haters” when we don’t applaud
    illegal activity?

    Because some of you think it is cute?

    By all means, hire this person to paint YOUR
    personal property, then, no problem.

    The CORE issue is: Where does society draw the line on scofflaws? The answer is found in the laws on the books.

    Love this scofflaw? Give him/her a commission for your personal property.
    $$$ for the “artist”, and no lawbreaking.

    You could also change the laws to permit
    graffitti “art” in all its forms. What’s
    that? Some of it wouldn’t be REAL art?
    Sorry, not your call. Eye of the beholder,
    baby! Don’t people see the slip/slope?

    Pragmatism doesn’t make one a “hater”.

  • Bill you are full of crap/yourself.
    Simply because I think a huge amount of contemorary art is people looking for a lifestyle who own a hot glue gun doesn’t indicate anything about my taste. Most people like Picasso because they think they are supposed to like Picasso.
    I have works by The Art Guys, Give Up, Barb Jones(recent show at the Art Car Museum) John Gaunt, Harriet Babchick and other contemporary LOCAL artists but none of that alters the fact that there is a ton of garbage out there. Prefering a John Singer Sargent over a Picasso does not make me a Philistine. I will pit my art knowledge against yours any day.

  • I can just picture it… Here I am sitting on my property with my trusty Saiga 12GA sipping a beer… I see one of these artsy douches attempting to tag/vandalize my property… I calmly wait to make sure the sun is below the horizon (makes the “hunt” legal) and BAM someone has to pick buckshot out of their *ss!!!

  • It’s not “Art”art but more like performance pieces… Ones that you just missed!
    The point is stealth and surprise.
    As a result of these images, people smile or rage depending on their POV.
    Its purpose is its effect; somebody is messing with you a bit.

  • I’ll take this any day over idiot middle school thugs who can’t even spell “f**k” right when they spray it on a fence. My HISD tax dollars at work….

  • “stencil artist”

    So kindergarten level skills are now considered art?

    There is nothing artistic about this other than the “escape artistry” of not being caught.

    Anybody has Coolidge’s address so he can be turned in to the police?

  • It does not matter whether the penguins are cute or that he makes an artistic statement. The point is that the property he adorns with his creatures does not belong to him and is done without permission. He is no different than a tagger and should be fined, prosecuted, etc…..There are plenty of nimrods out there who would gladly pay him to stencil an
    animal on their Hardiplank.

  • They’re fun little surprises. The Heights is like the wild wild west with all the code enforcement violations. I wish the City would pay more attention to shoddy alleys and gravel strewn parking pads instead of covering up little fuzzy pictures of cute animals.

  • Hear, hear, Studes 2nd! Speaking of, RIP little pony (formerly residing at the underpass at Stude and I-10).

  • People who say to commission this art, or have him do it with permission on private property are completely missing the point. This is guerilla art. It isn’t supposed to be legal. Like tagging, it is in your face and you see it(and it shouldn’t be there), whether you want to or not. The fact that it is cute animals makes it humorous. I like a lot of them. The city spending any money to clean these up is a blatant misappropriation of funds, there are tons of other things to take care of first.

  • Yep, obviously Houston is so devoid of drug dealers, murders, thieves, muggers, rapists, etc. that chasing after someone stenciling animals should be a priority lest our police find themselves with nothing to do.

  • This stuff is just another form of some cry for others to “look at me, look at me”. Call it whatever you want
    it is still just a juvenile act. Why not say that passing loud obnoxious gas in public is “guerilla performance art”?

  • Stick ’em Up
    Houston’s street artist have been documented in a great movie. Sheriff Garcia and Council Members Lovell and Bradford attended last night’s screening at the River Oaks Theater.


  • it’s art, whether you like it or not. Seriously some of you are so uptight, I wonder when your next heart attack is coming sometimes..

  • When my dog takes a dump on the public sidewalk I’ll just insist that it’s art so I don’t have to clean it up!

  • http://tinyurl.com/3fb93yo

    My little pony is featured prominently:

  • OK, argue about anything else, but i BEG YOU, drop the argument about whether or not its art. both sides of the argument are IDIOTIC.

  • ITT: Grumpy bastards.