Sunday, October 7, 2012


I used to harvest different things this time of year, but that was a different time and a different hemisphere.  Then again, I don't know if you have a 'harvest' time here in the tropics, I'm guessing it would be at different times for different crops.

This kind of harvest happens once every two years here in Brazil, and it happens on election day.  I actually wrote about it once before, although not in much detail, and with no photos.  I harvested the Brazilian version of lawn signs, which are a massive industry at election time.  I really should have taken some pictures of the unharvested crops, but I didn't.  Plus they were looking pretty rocky by the time I went out at five, which was when the polls closed.

Now I would like to quote myself from the previous post sited above, because who better to quote but myself?  I said:

"I plan to paint these monsters with spray paint. I've always been ambivalent about the use of spray paint on canvas, but these seem like the perfect thing to paint on- probably because they were free and will be re-purposed, which I like. Plus they're big, which is how I figure spray paint should be used."

 And I did paint them.  Some of them, anyways - others got dismantled and made into tarps and other projects - lots of good, free wood in them.  Here's probably the most successful one:

Let me add to my previous statement by saying that I am still ambivalent about painting with spray paint on canvas, but if I'm going to do so (and I will) then these are absolutely the ideal canvases to use.  In addition to the reasons cited above, the fact that they come 'from the street' which is where graffiti really belongs helps make their transition indoors a bit more palatable.  And we can't underestimate the value of FREE - real canvases this size would cost a bloody fortune!

I went out at five because I didn't want any hassle from the cops, and I didn't get any, although I saw many.  I also went out by myself, which made me a bit nervous, but thankfully nothing untoward happened.  I was much more selective this time than two years ago - I rejected many possible options because they were ripped or warped or the 'canvas' (plastic actually) sagged in a weird way.  One otherwise perfect one was infested with termites so it was left by the roadside.

One big contrast from the last time I went out harvesting signs was the huge number of vandalized signs.  Many had been slashed or were completely smashed.  At first I thought this was due to voter rage, and there certainly was more of that this year than I remember from past elections.  But it also occurs to me that it would be quite easy for a candidate to pay someone to go out and perform a bit of ultraviolence on the opposition's propaganda.

Some people I know spent the day reclaiming walls that had been painted by the campaigns.  I didn't do that this year, and I'm glad- there will be a second round of voting which means that there will be a second round of painting, and presumably of signs as well.  I think after the second round I'll go out and claim some walls - I have plenty of fresh canvases: eight that are two meters square, six that are one meter, and one that is three meters.  If I paint all of them in the next two years that would be a lot of paintings.