Taylor Swift Mourned on Borderline-Morbid Australian Mural
Taylor Swift hasn't been having the best summer, unless you're buying her aggressively-public romance with actor Tom Hiddleston — the first photos of which conveniently leaked within 24 hours of the GQ cover story where Kim Kardashian first disclosed that Kanye and Taylor had spoken on the phone about "Famous." Her ex Calvin Harris' mid-July accusation that Taylor was trying to "bury" him like she did Katy Perry was like a match to kerosene when it came to igniting more tales of Taylor's two faces; a years-old anecdote from Swift's high school classmate went viral right before Kim finally shared the videos of Kanye and Taylor's "Famous" chat. And now, a piece of public art has taken the #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty to its most extreme point.
Australian graffiti artist Lush Sux created a new piece in response to the Taylor-Kimye feud and subsequent media fracas/celebrity Twitter circus, painting a mural in Melbourne's Hosier Lane. An excellent likeness of Swift in her 1989-era bob, the accompanying text reads "In Loving Memory of...Taylor Smith." Given how notoriously proactive Swift's legal team is, we can only assume the "Blank Space" singer's last name was changed to protect the legally accountable; it's also a strong indicator that the artist doesn't mean "dead" in Internet-speak to indicate shocked happiness, as in "I'm dead [drained-face emoji]."
An extra-savage addendum underneath the piece: "No tags please, respect the dead." Mourners have left candles and flowers for the professionally-deceased.
Taylor, of course, is alive and well (we, and hopefully the artist Lush Sux, do not wish the Grammy winner DEAD), and it seems unlikely that these recent flaps will end her career. Her record as an accomplished songwriter, performer and album-seller remains unassailable to her loyal fanbase, and there's no reason to assume that such a large audience will stop loving the music Swift releases just because some may see her personality in a new, accurately-less-underdoggy light. In the hard to imagine event that her career as pop princess was over, she's always got a lucrative side gig as "This Is What You Came For" co-writer Nils Sjoberg to fall back on.
What does deserve to die: The notion that Taylor is the unwitting victim in all the self-serving storylines that have yielded her both hit songs and fodder for a 'triumphant' 2016 Grammy acceptance speech that neither Tori Kelly's facial expression nor this writer could quite accept as genuine in the first place. What Taylor and her Swifties consider "character assassination" is also a disruption of her own meticulously-constructed narrative. While it's not a figurative death blow, her vocal nemeses' stories have grown too loud for Team Taylor to silence completely.
In keeping with their zest for litigation threats, Taylor's legal team has served Lush Sux with a request to destroy the art. The artist said via the New York Daily News, it's "your typical cease and desist kind of legalese garble email."
"I won't be taking down my 'Taylor Smith' mural anytime soon," Lush Sux said, clearly unbothered. "But there have been multiple threats from Taylor Swift's own version of the Hitler youth, who dub themselves 'Swiftys,' to go down and destroy the wall."
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