Friday, May 23, 2008

Blessing Tires

We're getting closer to Grant Park! This Girl was found on the lot of Blessing Tires (It used to just say "Blessen" but someone made the second E into an I and added a G in green paint a few years ago) at the corner of Boulevard and Memorial, across from Oakland Cemetery.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Glenwood and Stovall

On my way to my lovely friend Amanda's house, I found my first ever Ormewood Park Girl! Next I want to see a Grant Park Girl for the first time.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Disappearing Blah Cloud

This is on Edgewood on the bridge in between Airline and Gunby street, across from AC White Transfer & Storage. I love the cloud even without the Girl.

On the other side of the bridge at the same time that I was taking pictures, there were two men painting over other things painted on the bridge. It appears that this Blah's end is imminent, so I'm glad I saw it today.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Banna Grocery Store

This giant Blah Girl is on the side of the Banna Grocery Store at the corner of Irwin and Howell. I love the blahs on the vents! Photographed on the way to work this morning.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Story of Blah Girl and my Bottomless Love for Street Art

I have been photographing street art since I was a teenager. While riding the El in Chicago I would stare out the window and watch the art unfold along cemetery walls, through tunnels, up on top of super high buildings. I fell in love with the idea of spray paint and public expression - the inherent law-breaking nature of street art also appealed to my rebellious teenage self.

My documentation started with my friend David.


I would go with him sometimes when he would go tagging on the bridges and underpasses in Chicago suburbs.


My friend Rachel had a basement where we could paint and repaint the walls. It was here that I first held a can of spray paint and failed miserably at making definable shapes.


It didn't take me long to put down the paint can permanently and hold a little more firmly to my camera. I realized that my strength is in framing, memorializing, and relentlessly watching my environment.

One of the greatest places for street art photography is in my hometown, Chicago, in the Pilsen neighborhood.


I always admired the honesty of the Pilsen street art, like this one that shows the range of family relationships from love and companionship to the family as a prison. I love how free form art tells stories of its community, its people.



I have photographed street art in travels around the world. From Dublin, Ireland


to Mazatlan, Mexico


to Islamic Cairo, Egypt


and of course my home of now eight years, Atlanta.


The first time I ever saw a Blah Girl in Atlanta was April, 2007. I was driving south on Boulevard passing the Fulton Cotton Mill on the left and Oakland Cemetery on the right when I saw her.

I loved her from the first moment. I loved how purely joyful she looked, the simplicity of her form and the choice of pink as her color. I loved the hearts that flew freely from her body. She made me smile just by existing. I grabbed my always-toted camera out of my purse and snapped a quick shot.


From that point forward, I started watching for her. It amazed me how without even trying, I would wind up in places where she was- whether we were searching for a new place for my friend to rent or out drinking at a bar. The Blah Girl became an auspicious sign.

She is fleeting though- such is the nature of street art. I was sad when that first Girl disappeared by way of white paint. But just a few months later, there she was again.


I have seen her in curls and flowers, bikinis and topless, on trucks and in bathroom stalls, in blue, green, red, pink and black. I want to honor her and her creator by archiving her existence in our lovely city of Atlanta.

I originally posted the photos at my personal blog, Ashes and Glass. Recently I decided she deserved her own site to stretch her cute little arms and settle in for awhile.
So here we are at our new home on blogger and there's no place like home!

I have posted some answers to frequently asked questions. Come back and visit for new Blah Girl pics and let me know if you come across any of your own. You can email me at sara dot totonchi at gmail dot com and give me a location or send me pictures you take yourself. Pictures taken by people other than me get the honorary Friends of Blah Girl tag.

Blah blah, hearts, love, kisses, spray paint.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Blah Girl Project

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Blah Girl:

A: I am not the creator of the Blah Girl. I am nowhere near as cool or talented as she is.

A: I do not know the Blah Girl creator. People who do have told me bits and pieces about her, but we have never met. I look forward to that day if/when it happens. I would give her a great big hug and thank her for all her work and give her some cash to buy new paint. I would plead with her not to think I'm a total stalker for being obsessive about documentation of her art.

A: I do not go searching for the Blah Girl. I jut shoot pictures whenever I run into her. I'm grateful that we travel in similar circles.

A: I definitely love getting tips of places where new Blah Girls appear. You can email me at sara dot totonchi at gmail dot com and give me a location or send me pictures you take yourself. Pictures taken by people other than me get the honorary Friends of Blah Girl tag.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Wedding Girl

I knew before I even saw her that the Blah Girl wouldn't miss her chance to smile on the union of Beck and Garrett at the Eyedrum yesterday. I found her exactly where I thought she'd be: grinning from her post in the bathroom.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Jackson and Edgewood

On the way to work this morning, Mica and I came across this Girl at an old gas station.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Girl Under the Stacks

When it rains it pours - And I'm not just talking about this grey Atlanta day. After what seemed like a Blah Girl drought, she's back smiling all around the city. Here she is below the Fulton Cotton Mill Lofts on Shelton Street in Cabbagetown.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

1, 2, 3, 4 Blah Girls on the Bathroom Doors

The Blah Girl also drinks at 97 Estoria, as illustrated by 4 different appearances in one little bathroom stall. She starts out all pretty for the evening with flowers in her hair but then as the night goes on hearts fly out of her, she drinks to much and ultimately loses her top and says "grow up" and "eff you" to the rest of the bar.