“Compared to What?” is a mural collaboration between Kyla Coburn and Kelly Knapp of Kyla Coburn Designs, alongside street artist Ricardo Vespia. All three artists are New York natives currently living and painting in Rhode Island.
Coburn is renowned for designing and building many of the most striking bars and restaurants in the Providence area… spaces are distinguished by their creative richness and highly customized interiors. Knapp helps translate each artistic vision into a multi-sensory dining experience. Ricardo Vespia is one of Providence’s most recognizable street artists, working mainly in multiple story photo-realistic pieces.
“Compared to What?” is a nod to the current debate over the subjectiveness of determining value.
The art world, Municipalities, the Public and Artists themselves, all bring different angles to consider when determining if “street art” or “graffiti” belongs in the realms of Sotheby’s or the Jailhouse. Who’s work is art and who’s is vandalism? How is the value of something so widely disputed determined?
Once the idea of subjective value is on the table, it becomes apparent that all concepts of worth, success, happiness, etc. exist only by comparison to personal ideas, experiences and value systems. Do people from different worlds who are experiencing different tragedies and joys reach greater or lesser levels of emotion in their lives? Someone’s definition of “good” is another’s “bad”, someone’s “rich” is another’s “poor”, the age of 40 is either terrifyingly old or blissfully young and will be both to the same person eventually. To make these judgements we are making comparisons based on our place in life, ideas we have of “value”, and assumptions we make about things that we may not truly understand. The answer to “How is it?”…. is “Compared to what?”.