Monday, April 30, 2007

...the writing is on the wall...

Sort of an ominous title for a Monday I know. I'll get to the "why" in a second.

Today’s topic: Graffiti... or. as s0m3 pre7er, "8treet art"

I want to make my opinion about graffiti as clear as mud. There are two highly energetic opinions on this form of expression. It is NOT hard to tell which is which. There are those that call it vandalism. There are those that refer to it as art. Who is right? And more importantly what do you think? It seems that you really can't be on both sides of this debate. It is either criminal to perform, or criminal to prevent graffiti from happening.

Regardless of your opinion about graffiti, it is out there. And people take pictures of it. And unless you live far from "civilization", you see it quite often. There is no denying that some of these colorful expressions of spray paint on concrete are better than others. I will say that destruction of someone else’s property is not a good way to live. If someone scratched their picture into the paint of my car, I don't care how incredibly detailed it is, you just destroyed what I considered beautiful. (even if my car is a 1996 nissan sentra)

Despite all the back and forth that could go on over this, here is why it is the topic of the day. My friend that I helped move (mentioned on Friday) rented a BRAND NEW Rental truck for his move to the east coast. He rented it early Saturday morning, we filled it all day Saturday, and around 2am, some opportunistic "artists" left their mark. Now my friend had purchased the full level insurance, which covers graffiti, so he was spared the expense of re-painting the truck. But this truck was brand new. Less than 300 miles on it. I didn't get to see the piece myself, so I can't comment on how "good" it was. But this got me thinking about the whole thing.

Now we come to the point. I want this blog to be a place that can honor artistry in all its forms. There is no question that the creators of many of these urban tapestries have immense skill. But should this form of art be recognized in the art community? Please weigh in. In order to get the thought process going, here are today's top ten pictures of Graffiti

Can you keep a secret?
by Cynthia D. Photography

Prepare yourself! pt.2__2
by SoLidal

Optimus Prime - South Rd, Edwardstown

by witness 1

Searching Man

by alexhrdr

graffiti w starej mleczarni

by DruhScoff

Noll and Wilson Street, Brooklyn, New York City, 11237 (Ocean Wall)

by kezam


by i y e r s

zame - EKS


2nd Home, Sweet Home

by JoeJoeSmoe NYC - Brooklyn: Ebbets Field mural

by wallyg

So, what do you think? Please use the comment feature on this blog, or "flickr mail" me. Let me know... What do you guys think. Graffiti artists, why should you be allowed to destroy other peoples property? Anti-grafiti artists/photographers, why is this form of art less credible than another one? I want to hear your thoughts.

Finally, here is a poem on Authors Den by Safi Abdi

When the saint and the sinner are one and the same

When king and subject are similar in intent

When the evening shadow gulps down the morning star

When small beings destabilize their habitats

When your designs clash with the Lord’s Plans

Then dawns the annals of the written.

The earth’s chockfull of visitors’ flakes.

Yesterday he hoarded; a perfect nuisance unrepentant.

Before that he was only a speck, a bird’s bite; toss-able by the wind

Afterwards just a heap of sorrowfulness;

Excess baggage…that’s the hindrance catastrophic

If man had any wits at all he’d apologize to his host

Or read his story to his ego.

Copyright 2006, Safi Abdi, all rights reserved.

Regardless of what you think... Enjoi


  1. Thank you for the feature.
    As I wrote on my flickr, I completely share your point of view, maybe because I live in the part of Milan (where all the pics were made, if you want to add it...) which is mostly "bombed" and I always saw graffiti around me. Some of my mates had became writers, and I had the chance to see their sketches on paper before the realisation. There is a project, a concept so this is art.
    Here in Milan there were an exibition of the most famous writers at the PAC (the city' space for contemporary arts), and lots of event are authorised to promote this art.
    I hope the great public will appreciate it in future, and also art experts won their prejudices.


  2. Thanks for featuring one of my pictures. That particular mural is on the Boulevard de Belleville in one of the most artsy parts of Paris. There's another one just down the road from it that is equally cool but my camera-phone battery couldn't take another picture.

    I think that street art is absolutely fundamental to the vitality and liveability of a place. There are other pictures in that flickr set that are by a local artist, Jef Aerosol. His work is usually of stenciled musicians and one of the stencils he uses often says "la musique adoucit les murs" which roughly means "music softens the walls."

    Urban art is all about taking back the urban space and making it just as alive as the natural world it replaces. I've linked to your post on my blog, you can find the post here.

  3. Thanks so much for featuring my work!
    I'm proud to be featured by someone who has the same perspective on graffiti as i do.
    I try my best to convey the beauty of graffiti through my pictures and look as it as a form of art rather than a method of vandalism.
    The other photographers featured are very talented and i'm so grateful to have my work posted with theirs.
    Thank you for supporting urban art and expression!

  4. hello
    thx for posting the pic of zame`s piece, EKS crew Guatemala :D