Social Media

Construction-site black boards as art

Painted black boards at 110 N Wacker construction site in downtown Chicago

The painted-black boards at constructions sites are so stark. Flat black atop coarse wood grain. Giant panels of wood meant to separate construction working from pedestrian walking. The walls are painted in a flat black to give a simple backdrop, and a simple method of graffiti deference. If someone tags the wood panel with spray paint, the construction company can simply paint over the graffiti with black paint.

Simple fix. Graffiti covered.

Painted black boards at 110 N Wacker construction site in downtown Chicago

However, on these walls a glossy black paint is used to paint over the graffiti. The shininess of the black paint is quite a contrast against the flat black paint. The coverup job becomes very apparent. Perhaps a message is conveyed that any sort of hooliganism will not be tolerated. But in a way, it has the opposite effect. The glossiness of the paint is so glaring, you clearly see the paint-over. It almost says, “yeah, this is a place where graffiti can be painted”.

Both the matte black and glossy black have wonderful aesthetic properties.

Painted black boards at 110 N Wacker construction site in downtown Chicago

Matte black

The matte black on the colossal boards reminds me of Richard Serra’s work.

Richard Serra at work on his etching and paint stick works, November 1990.
Photo via Susan Sheehan Gallery

Heavy. Large. Serious. Straightforward. Sense of material. Man, I so want to have some of these matte black panels when the construction is complete. I want to make large drawings and paintings on these boards. These boards are imbued with a history of Chicago.

These particular boards are along a pedestrian route near a major train station, Ogilvie station. Streams of pedestrians walk by these boards every day. The boards have seen all the traffic going by. For a period of time, these boards served as helping to construct part of Chicago’s architecture. In particular these are for 110 North Wacker Ave. This building will be sitting along Chicago’s historic Chicago River, known for its architectural history.

Black glossy paint on construction boards at 110 N Wacker, Chica

Glossy black

The glossy black paint is also quite appealing. Serving as a cover-up, one’s imagination runs wild about what was formerly underneath this glossy black paint. The paint is so glossy that it reflects surrounding light around it, almost becoming like a midnight mirror. The black pigment acting as absence of light, yet also creating a reflection of light. This black paint captures light just as it also denies the light.

And here’s a couple more photos, giving context of the walkway.

Painted black boards at 110 N Wacker construction site in downtown Chicago
Painted black boards at 110 N Wacker construction site in downtown Chicago

And some more glossy paint photos

Black glossy paint on construction boards at 110 N Wacker, Chica
Black glossy paint on construction boards at 110 N Wacker, Chica
Black glossy paint on construction boards at 110 N Wacker, Chica

1
Comments are very welcome, please leave a reply

avatar
1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
Matt Maldre Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest oldest most voted