Sidewalk Chalk

It’s a bit mysterious — walking around on the sidewalks of any town and you are liable to come across various crude images and hopscotch grids chalked upon the sidewalk. I found this one about a week ago on a Hampshire St. sidewalk:

What is this intended to represent? There appears to be a pentagram on the figure’s chest; perhaps some comic-book superhero?

The odd thing is that I have never come across kids playing hopscotch in Quincy; when do they do it, and if they don’t, why did they bother chalking such patterns on the sidewalk?

In one of Stephen King’s novels there is a sidewalk-chalk motif — they had some sort of evil significance.

Sidewalk chalk drawings are like Navaho sand paintings and Tibetan butter sculptures — evanescent works of folk art which aren’t intended to endure for very long. A good hard rain and the sidewalks are pristine again.

Larry

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7 Comments

Filed under Photos, Quincy, Visual Arts

7 responses to “Sidewalk Chalk

  1. Virginia

    Kids chalk patterns on the sidewalk for the pure enjoyment of creating art in an environment without borders. Visiting children turned our entire driveway into a colorful series of related or unrelated flowers, trees, houses, and fantastic creatures on several occasions from sidewalk chalk I keep onhand. I think it’s neat stuff and leave it until the next rain removes it. Truth be told, I may have drawn a few of those pictures with them.

  2. Joan

    I love sidewalk chalk! Walgreens (and I’m sure many other stores, including toy and craft centers) always has tubs of it on sale around Easter. My eldest son’s girlfriend, had a young child, who, during the long time they were dating sort of became our ersatz grandchild. She loved drawing on anything and everything , and I bought her sidewalk chalk in those pastel Easter colors. Great memories.
    I’m thinking this particular super hero Larry photo’d with the star on his chest could be Captain America…but it’s just a wild guess. It’s not a pentagram. That’s just just the way kids learn to draw stars.

  3. Well, Joan, a five-pointed star is actually a pentagram; just ignore the reputed connections with witchcraft and Satanism. For children it’s just an innocently fun figure to draw — I still enjoy doodling them. And then there is the mathematical connection with the Golden Ratio, roughly 1.618, and the Golden Rectangle.

  4. It might be Captain America, but why does he have one hand behind his back and his right hand outstretched? It’s like trying to interpret cave paintings from Southern France.

  5. Joan

    Yeah… I know it’s a pentagram because it has 5 points…ergo..etc. etc. but your inference WAS on the satanic side, not the stars and stripes side. And it’s usually presented upside down if I have my satanic lore straight.. If anything satanic could be straight. πŸ™‚

    It’s some kind of super hero, or some costumed figure. Doesn’t look like anything Harry Potterish. The arm presented has some pretty good muscles…The shoulders have muscles. As for the arm, sometimes kids don’t want to bother drawing it twice, so they stick it behind the back. . Some of them are big on pockets. Who knows? It’s just a great picture. Wish I could see what that is at the bottom which seems to be shooting rays. The captain is supposed to have a round super shield.

    As for the star…That particular method is an adult to kid learned thingy. The younger kids I taught, who had no pre-exposure to it made wonderful wonky stars with more or less than 5 points and no lines in the middle. Then adult or older kid would teach them how to hack out one of those things. I remember my mother showing me how to make that star. I was too little to even do it in one fell swoop, so she showed me how to make a capital A and go from there.

  6. Joan

    Larry, you got quoted in ‘Smorgasblog” on Via Negativa. πŸ™‚
    http://www.vianegativa.us/

  7. That’s cool, Joan! Thanks for letting me know. I’m flattered!

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