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Urban Art or Vandalism

Let me start by stating that I do not condone the defacing of private property.  I think that anyone who can only make their mark on the world by spray painting their "tag" on someone else's business, house, or art is very sad indeed.  If you didn't  buy it then spray painting your nickname on a building does not make it, or the neighborhood yours.  It just makes you a loser.

That being said I've also seen a graffiti that is really good, interesting and exciting.  Here in Atlanta we have a lot of urban artists who paint under the Krog Street Bridge.  It's a bit dark and scary because the tunnel is so small and I think some people don't separate that feeling from the graffiti.  To me it's like going into a special art gallery.  I'm amazed at the talent, the depth of color, the imaginative ideas, and the ability with a can of spray paint.  Some people don't just have an image to display they have a message that they believe is important.  I think if they are respectful of where they display that message we should be able to return that respect and look at the art, not just that it was done with a spray can.
Apparently, I am not the only person that finds graffiti interesting, some people are hiring graffiti artists to paint murals on the walls inside their houses and outside their businesses.
Not too many years ago Coke and other businesses paid to have their advertising painted on the sides of city buildings and rural barns.  I don't know how people felt about it when that was really popular but I do know that today we look at images of those buildings with a little bit of nostalgia.  Might we one day do the same for modern graffiti?

Comments

  1. My daughter did her senior English paper on graffiti and we rode around for days photographing places where artists had made their mark. It was so much fun, and now every time I see graffiti on a wall or a train, I think of her. Have you seen the movie Exit Through The Gift shop? Really great movie about graffiti artists!

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    1. Tracey - I've not seen it yet but it is on my list.

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  2. I second Tracey's recommendation, great movie! I think you can stream it on netflix

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  3. does the coffee cup really have the word Brew on it? kind of cool, would be neat to see the tunnel. California has so much trouble with graffiti everywhere that all spray paint cans are locked up and you have to be over a certain age to purchase them, I've seen some horrible defacement in many areas and it is costly to remove for individual, businesses, city and state government and the like. Many towns have murals and I like those, some graffiti too but I saw so much defacement it's hard not to recall it all. We were surprised when we moved here to Florida and haven't seen any graffiti and the spray paint cans are not locked up, of course we don't get to the cities very often so maybe there is some there in the larger ones.

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  4. Thanks Michele - I've been watching for it on Hulu, it might be a while.

    Linda - The coffee cup really does have the word "Brew" on it. I put it there so it's non-harmful graffiti. I think it's a little sad when the only mark someone can make in this world is to deface someone else property. I do happen to like the murals which seem to be respected and left alone by the taggers.

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