Graffiti

Graffiti is a kind word for artistic vandalism. And I love it. I don’t exactly know why, but I’ve always loved graffiti (well-done graffiti, that is). Hmm. Now I’m curious.

I’m attracted to rebellion.
I’m attracted to people and ideas that buck convention (so long as there’s logic behind it).
I’m attracted to art, especially avant-garde, industrial and/or urban art. Something about people making urban spaces their own, adding art and flavor and sometimes critical social commentary…I’m drawn to it. Statement pieces are my favorite.

Tom Eversley Urban Art.jpg

I have a love/hate relationship with cities. There’s a strange, unnatural beauty to modern cities: the way so many people are gathered and crammed into tight living spaces.  Shoulder to shoulder they walk the sidewalks and street crossings. And yet, they’re anonymous. You can walk through a throng of people, and no one even notices you. You’re just another unit of humanity in a faceless, nameless sea. There’s so much cultural variety, it’s thrilling and enriching. But it’s so fucking impersonal. Hence the love/hate. It’s unnatural.

I have a certain appreciation for beautifully done architecture, though I (mostly) disdain purely functional forms. Give me some flavor. Allow me to see the artistry of the architect’s vision. And if you give me bland, industrial, utilitarian space?

Graffiti the shit out of it. Somehow, someway, I want to see the art of humanity shining through the bleak, gray spaces. If we’re going to “pave paradise,” shouldn’t we make it our own?

My favorite graffiti that I’ve seen has been that found on trains, on the side of horribly mundane industrial, horribly inhuman (yet all too human) facilities, bridges, canals, etc. I love the resistance it shows, people fighting back against the bleak, faceless commodification of humanity.

~

That said, you know what I hate? I fucking hate this shit:

image

See what it says? I found this at the park today. Someone carved “Homecoming?” into a tree. Someone later came behind and carved a response, “NO.” I was so fucking angry when I saw this. This is nature. Look at the word “nature.” NATURAL. Industry is unnatural – and I’m okay with bringing humanity into it. And it can be painted over. Urban art can be painted over. This? This tree is damaged for good. There’s no undoing this.

Heh. And it only got worse from there.

image

This entire tree was covered from the ground to about seven feet. I was livid. And then, I was so so sad. The people who damage trees in this way are the ones who have so little respect that they’re threatening future generations’ access to our national parks. They’re the people who break through the travertine crust in Yellowstone or approach bison to take selfies. Entitled fucking morons who have zero respect for this beautiful earth we get to call home.

Grab your cans of spray paint and beautify and personalize a train or the underside of a bridge. But we must be better stewards of our planet.

Maybe I’ll go back tomorrow morning and flip that tree off. Yeah. That’ll show ’em.

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20 thoughts on “Graffiti

  1. I went to a community school when I didn’t do well at public school, and pretty well every kid there was a street kid, and graffiti was a big part of that school. The thing is there is a big difference between ‘art pieces’ and ‘graffiti’. Graffiti is exactly what it sounds like, blatant damage to property with an incessant need to basically ‘mark territory’ by scribbling your name everywhere. I detest it. Those little pricks ruin art.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “Shoulder to shoulder they walk the sidewalks and street crossings. And yet, they’re anonymous.” Such a great line. So true. Really like that piece you have included on the wall. Where’s that? I agree with you about liking some yet not other graffiti. What are you thoughts on tagging? Be interested on your thoughts on this post about people’s ‘taste’s when it comes to urban art > http://wp.me/p6D3l1-Ue Glad I stumbled across this today. Keep up the great posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And that’s a fine question. I googled “street art” or “urban art” and found this one that I really liked. I do know the artist is Tom Eversley. I need to do some digging. 🙂

      I actually hate tagging. I find it’s more about destruction and find it somewhat akin to carving ones initials into trees, whereas proper “street art” (which I know I blanketed under graffiti) is more about making us think, lifting us up and adding to our lives rather than taking something away.

      I loved your post, and the art you captured is phenomenal. I’m so glad you shared so I could find you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel the same about tagging too. Many of the finest street artists I’m told start out as taggers so I’m probably being more than a little hypocritical. haha. Nice to ‘meet’ you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nice to meet you as well! I dunno if it’s hypocritical to disdain someone’s early work as I artistic and purely vandalism. It’s nice to know that taggers don’t always stay taggers but graduate to works of art. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Totally agree with this Steph. Graffiti is art. Not the “Kilroy woz ‘ere” variety but the magical artistic ability of some of these guys. They brighten the dullest of places its just the idiots on the planet who deface this excellent work are the same idiots who would see it as okay to carve into a tree.
    Maybe we should arm the trees with knives so they might get their own back….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You and me we’d be mates. Agree wholeheartedly with you on this. The most famous graffiti artist in the UK is Banksy. He creates superb pieces of street art.
    As for trees, leave ’em be, hug ’em but don’t ever deface them.
    I think we have some beautiful buildings in the UK. Not just old ones either. I think the Shard in London is fantastic.
    Have a good day. Work beckons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you’re right. It’s all so subjective. It can be easy to be snobbish about it (pointing the finger at myself, here), but it’s not fair to be.

      Aren’t those trees horribly sad? 😦

      Like

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