Arts Desk

Exit Through the Panda Pen

If an art form is dead once all it can do is comment on itself, well, it was nice knowing you, street art. The evidence? Look to the wheat-pasted surfaces of Washington, where spots that once could have contained “HOPE” posters and Andre the Giant decals now host parodies of the same. Instead of the stenciled likeness of Barack Obama, we get Washington Post political columnist Dana Milbank—courtesy of someone calling him- or herself Milbanksy. Instead of an impassive black-and-white wrestler urging us to “OBEY,” there’s an image of a panda with the imperative “RETURN.” Is this the age of phenomenological street art gone hyperlocal? Fine, we’ll bite.

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