Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Who Made That Lionel Richie Missing Person Poster? Randy Osborne, Ex-RFT Staffer, Knows

Posted By on Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge Street art, internet meme, or both? That is the question. - RANDY OSBORNE?
  • Randy Osborne?
  • Street art, internet meme, or both? That is the question.

But let me start by saying ... I love you.

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about art. Specifically, street art. As Exit Through the Gift Shop so poignantly illuminated, street art has in recent years become quite the lucrative commodity.

Despite this, or perhaps because of it, many street artists choose to remain anonymous. Even the iconic Banksy's identity is still unknown.

The Internet has made street art so easily consumable, that we sometimes cease to think of it as "art." This is where Randy and Lionel come in.

Randy Osborne, who's originally from Rockford, Illinois, has been a journalist for decades. In the early '90s, he and his wife moved to St. Louis. Coincidentally enough, he was hired at the Riverfront Times as a writer and associate editor.

Eventually, his career led him to Atlanta, Georgia, where he writes zines and organizes MOTH events in a neighborhood near Cabbagetown. "It's not too far from my neighborhood, which is Inman Park, the oldest neighborhood in Atlanta," he says via phone. "It's very nice, kinda artsy, but not as hip and cool as Cabbagetown."

Walking through Cabbagetown one day in late February, Osborne saw Lionel Richie's imploring eyes, pouting lips and desperate question stapled to an assuming telephone pole. The poster caught his eye, and he was -- as most of us were when we encountered it online -- tickled by it.

He snapped a photo and posted it on his Facebook page. And the next thing he knew, it was everywhere.

Randy took a few minutes to chat with A to Z about his interaction with the artist who made the poster, that artist's anonymity and the state of street art in Atlanta.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Chrissy Wilmes

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 12, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation