Tuesday, July 28, 2009

June 2009: Montauk and Cape Cod

Adam is definitely one of the coolest people I know. He's an artist and a biologist who drives a 1979 Volkswagen van. At one point, he had a mohawk so tall that it impeded his driving ability. (To solve the problem, he had to pull the seat back low-rider style). He owns an impressive collection of 1970s suits and collects old school electronics from the Salvation Army. With his affinity for Space Ghost, Taco Bell, and glow sticks, he's definitely a character. This is why I love him. Today, he shows us what's going on in Montauk and Cape Cod. He writes:

"I have always loved finding concrete ruins, especially out in the middle of the woods or someplace unexpected. I also love graffiti. Therefore, it follows that when I find concrete ruins in some remote or unexpected place, and these relics happen to be covered with spray paint, I get very excited. Graffiti makes worn out buildings come to life. It gives these forgotten places new purpose; to act as a forum for graffiti artists. And these ruins are good at fulfilling their new purpose. A mysterious concrete bunker can make even mediocre or faded graffiti more interesting. That being said, I will now share some graffiti I have found recently, even though some of it is mediocre or fading, because they all happen to share the characteristic of being painted on defunct military bunkers along the northeast coast."

"The June 9 blog about concrete ruins dealt with Montauk, NY on Long Island. It showed some images of the few remaining accessible tags located within Shadmore State Park. New pieces were a regular occurrence some years back before the state acquired the property. The land contains two large concrete WWII bunkers and is located on the ocean bluffs just south of Ditch Plains. Once the state took it over, however, the outsides were painted and the insides sealed up. Since then, only a few new tags have popped up there and many are locked away inside. (See the June 9 blog for pictures of the graffiti) The satellite image below shows the location of the two bunkers."

"While the tower and several other areas that may be home to some tags are blocked off, there are plenty of other buildings on which one would expect some graffiti. The prominent walls are painted over and maintained, but the backs of the buildings are just waiting to be tagged. However, there is not much to be found. As far as I know, the back of the old bowling alley shown here is the only wall with any graffiti whatsoever."
"The larger bunker is in the main clearing and has the most paint on it. The outside has several tags, but they are old and faded. Two walls are shown here."

"It was my moving to the Outer Cape that got me looking at these locations again. My most recent concrete ruin discovery is not in Montauk, but rather out in the sand dunes of Truro/Provincetown on Cape Cod. It is an open, aboveground foundation." "Perhaps it is the remote aspect of these sites that keep them relatively free of graffiti. Maybe artists don’t want to trek out there to paint them. Maybe these ruins are less desirable because the work would not be seen by many people. But I think this is what makes these sites more interesting for the people who do get to see them. They know they are one of the few privileged viewers who have stumbled upon the bunker and the graffiti. So while this weblog probably does not openly endorse painting on local, state, or federal government property because it is less than legal, I will. Get out to these old ruins and help them fulfill their purpose. They may be hard to find, but satellite images and coordinates help with that bit. And I am sure there are many other similar places out there waiting as well."
"P.S. Does anyone have pictures of some of those Montauk places before they were painted over, sealed up, or restricted? Has anyone been out to any of these locations more recently and seen some fresh paint? And does anyone know of any other remote concrete ruins that are now being used for graffiti?"

Adam, you're the best! (But you already knew that). If you've got photos to share with Adam, send them my way and I'll b sure to pass them along.


  1. it's a real art and everyone can support my opinion, by the way, concrete WWII bunkers is the best material to create this art-works and you must know it, and I think you're right because They know they are one of the few privileged. keep posting this kind of material. 32jj

  2. I think that it is one of the most interesting thing in the world, I have been reading about it since I was young , the urban art is one of the best things in the streets!