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Thursday, May 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Down To Earth

The Art Activist

Henry David Thoreau once said, “This world is but a canvas to our imaginations.” English “clean tagger” Paul “Moose” Curtis, a self proclaimed “professor of dirt” is expressing his imagination on a very strange canvas - dirt. Clean tagging, also called grime writing or reverse graffiti is nothing more than an extension of the uber-popular “Wash Me” mark all of you have undoubtedly put on a strangers dirty vehicle. What “Moose” Curtis does is just more highly skilled. It’s brilliant really, and when you think about it, it’s very eco-friendly. Curtis uses no paints, non-harming chemicals and produces little to no waste. Instead, the art-activist pioneer for ten years has used detergent, cloth and a wire brush to clean his way to masterpieces. "It's refacing," he says, "not defacing. Just restoring a surface to its original state. It's very temporary. It glows and it twinkles, and then it fades away,” he told the New York Times Magazine. Curtis’s work has proved very beneficial, even after the masterpiece has faded, or in this case – totally washed away. As written in the New York Times Magazine, “A few years ago he adorned a transport tunnel in Sao Paolo with a mural consisting of a series of skulls to remind drivers of the detrimental impact their emissions have on the planet. The Brazilian authorities were incensed but couldn't actually charge him with anything so they instead cleaned the tunnel. At first they cleaned only the parts Alexandre had cleared but after the artist switched to the opposite wall they had to clean that too. In the end, the authorities decided to wash every tunnel in the city.” Watch Paul “Moose” Curtis in action:

Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.