Dolly Salvador says nobody could have prepared her for the raw, terrifying beauty of Memphis' colorful pedestrian crossings.
"It's an incredible play on the whole concept of street art," says Salvador, the longtime critic for Over the Couch Quarterly
and founding editor of Fancy Art
magazine. "The fact that it was created by "the Man," as they say, only makes it that much more subversive and so right now.'"
Salvador came to Memphis because she'd seen pictures of the crosswalks posted online and knew she had to see them in person.
"They're even more magnificent than I expected," she says. "You can tell that there's rigid order here if you're looking down on it from above — that it was imagined as part of some real improvement. Then you drive up on it in your car and BAM, perspective transforms it into something disorienting, and a little chaotic. It creates this instant sense of paranoia, like all the nice, modern things invented to make life simpler are driving us mad. Such a perfect summation of our current techno-political malaise."
Memphis is hardly the first city to experiment with color coded intersections. "But it's so visually brutal," Salvador purrs. "I don't know how they did that using basic green and white strokes and those variously shaped patches of blue in the corners, but I love it so, so much."