Caution: Contains Profanity. Artistically.
So here’s the game:
You follow @NO_FREE_ART on Twitter and Instagram. Set it up on Twitter so that they’re one of your favorites, and you’ll get notifications on your phone when they post something. When they make a Drop, they post a photo of a piece of art created by one of our many local artists, nestled in a hiding place somewhere in New Orleans. Your mission? GO FIND IT. Then post a photo, tag #nofreeart and the artist (tags were included on the piece), and then go home with a Found piece of art and a sense of sheer WHEEE at having just had a completely spontaneous moment.
This can end up taking place anywhere. This crazy kooky awesome and anonymous collaborative makes Drops all over the city.
Scavenger Hunt, y’all. ARTSY scavenger hunt!
I just got the scoop on these guys a couple of days ago when a friend of mine on Facebook shared the link to an Advocate article about them. I immediately found them out there in the Social Mediaverse, and began to wait.
It was just my luck today that NoFreeArt hit the CBD. I’d had a long and very busy day, as usual. I got off work around 5:00 and walked to my streetcar stop, as usual. The first car that came along passed us by, as usual, waving at us to let us know there was another one right behind it. And, as usual, it took forever for this next car to show up. And THEN, in some act of Streetcar Serendipity, THAT car passed us by too. I was having a conversation with the gal waiting with me that involved a lot of, “WTF,” when I got a Twitter notification on my phone. Since NoFreeArt is the ONLY thing I’ve favorited on Twitter, I knew immediately what it was.
After one glance, I laughed out loud since the content was exactly kinda what was on my mind right at that moment. I HAD to have it. Glance number two showed me that the latest Drop was at Lafayette Square. 2.5 blocks from where I was standing.
I immediately about-faced and walked away from the streetcar stop and hustled my butt to the park!
From the photo, I knew immediately where it was based on the image’s background and went straight to it. And, Lo, there it was, a small piece done by Love Paul Rizzo, in all its fluffy profane glory.
I love scavenger hunts. I’m not talking the kind you did as a kid, where your mom or your Girl Scout leader hands you a list of common household items to find and you have to go door-to-door pestering neighbors for paperclips and combs. What I love are riddles, and clues, and anything that crosses lines from being an idea to being a reality.
Like getting a clue at the streetcar stop and finding yourself hauling ass up St. Charles to the park, on a git-outta-my-way mission, where minutes before you were just having a normal day. Unplanned. Unanticipated!
After I parked my tookas on a bench and made the required posts to Twitter/Instagram to proclaim the item Found, I all but skipped down the sidewalk to the next streetcar stop up the road. Naturally, I stopped to chat with someone and high-five a small child along the way. And it was incredible because everyone standing at the stop was in a good mood, all smiley and chatty and most of the folks on the streetcar were the same, all the way to the corner. Was it just the nice day? Or was it a reflection of my own glee, at having had this Random Cool Moment?
I think the only non-chipper entity I encountered was the rolling wave of Stink Eye I kept getting from this one woman who was sitting eye-level to the piece, which I was still carrying since I couldn’t fit it in my purse. It was like, right in her face. HA!
I made a pit stop at my corner store on St. Charles before I walked the rest of the way home. Victory Wine for All! My store buddy who works there was out on a smoke break when I walked up. When he said, “What’s Up?” my response was to flash my newfound art at him glibly before gleefully explaining what it was.
It’s so easy to flash that thing around. I mean, it fits so perfectly in your hand.
And now, inspired to write something for the first time in almost three months, I am delighted to announce that this is probably the most foul-mouthed blog entry I have ever made. All in images, no less. BUT IT COMES WITH RAINBOWS Y’ALL, SO IT’S PERKY.
Fluffy Rainbow Fuck (as I affectionately call it) now has a new home in the living room above the front door. Right next to my Follow Your Crazy sign. And a chicken foot.