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Graffiti


picture of McDo sign

Being a person who likes to leave things better than I found them, I have never understood the mentality that does graffiti or other forms of vandalism. Some "graffiti artists" might argue that they are trying to improve things by leaving something eye catching behind, but many of them do not leave something good behind. Much of graffiti is vulgar and unsightly, seeking to show disrespect or to draw attention to the vandals themselves, and most people do not appreciate having their property defaced or having to clean up graffiti. In this post I am in no way trying to encourage or excuse vandalism, but since graffiti happens, I will try to look at some of the effects that are actually interesting or even beautiful. Some graffiti is quite creative ... if only that creativity could be directed into more acceptable activity....

I'll start off with some that are really pretty cool.

Here's a staircase illusion.

picture of graffiti

Here is some modern art done by someone named Banksy, a British street artist with an international reputation.

picture of graffiti

I am assuming that the next two examples of "street art" are graffiti rather than done by the community paint crew.

picture of graffiti

picture of graffiti

I found this picture on a site that called the picture on the wall graffiti, but it is actually something done by an ad agency called STIR Milwaukee, USA.

picture of graffiti

Here's an example of graffiti whose color makes it almost beautiful.

picture of graffiti

A previous post of mine contained the following picture:

picture of graffiti

Here's an example of graffiti that is related to that.

picture of graffiti

Some graffiti vandals delight in decorating or altering signs. Here's an example.

picture of graffiti

Someone added three nasty creatures to this wall sign.

picture of graffiti

In a previous post I had a number of signs warning about falling object. Here's an altered sign that would have been a good addition to that post.

picture of graffiti

A couple of pen strokes with a black marker changed this no smoking sign significantly.

picture of graffiti

Blank space is a huge temptation to some....

picture of graffiti

Graffiti is a worldwide phenomenon. Here's a series of three pictures from the UK that constitute a conversation between graffiti vandals and the Newcastle City Council.

picture of graffiti

picture of graffiti

picture of graffiti

Here's an example of many signs in Australia that have been altered in a similar fashion.

picture of graffiti

Paris, France could well be the graffiti capital of the world — graffiti is ubiquitous! Here are several examples of beautiful or interesting graffiti from Paris.

picture of graffiti

picture of graffiti

Apparently graffiti and posters (affiches) are nothing new to Paris. Here's a sign with a reminder of a law passed against them in 1881.

picture of graffiti

Défense d'afficher means "Posting posters forbidden." Here are some examples of how well Parisians respect those signs.

picture of graffiti

picture of graffiti

picture of graffiti

In the little poster at the bottom, d'accord means "OK."

In the Métro we were always amazed at graffiti on the sides of subway cars. Those trains stop for such a short time, I have no idea how the vandals do their mischief!

picture of graffiti

And how do the Parisian police react? They drive right past it.

picture of graffiti

Graffiti is such a commonplace aspect of life in Paris that they sell t-shirts featuring graffiti right along with the Eiffel Tower.

picture of graffiti

Graffiti artists do not even respect signs about their activity being a crime.

picture of graffiti

There are businesses that specialize in removing graffiti ... if you can reach them, that is....

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Here's a great ad warning graffiti artists of the consequences they face.

picture of graffiti

What are your experiences with graffiti? Are there any lasting solutions for dealing with those who see the whole world as their canvas?

quotation...

"Anarchy is against the law." - Graffiti

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Is there intelligent life on earth?
Yes, but I'm only visiting.


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9 Comments on “Graffiti”

  1. #1 Michael
    on May 20th, 2010 at 8:08 am

    I don’t have a lot of experience with graffiti, but I do enjoy a cleverly amended sign via graffiti. There are some stores in some parts of America where they keep bottles of spray paint under lock and key in order to control the distribution of the paint to prevent against graffiti artists.

  2. #2 Jason
    on May 20th, 2010 at 8:22 am

    At the moment graffiti is very mainstream. There are a number of artists who do graffiti installations in galleries or museums. There’s even a company (Montana Cans) making spray paints especially for artists.

  3. #3 Vikki
    on May 20th, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I know that in some cities you can’t buy spray paint if you’re under 18. In Chicago graffiti became such a problem that they made it illegal to even sell spray paint. You have to go way out into the suburbs to find any.

  4. #4 Carrie
    on May 20th, 2010 at 11:57 am

    It’s fun to see some “nice” graffiti – the stuff we’ve seen recently hasn’t been.

  5. #5 b.j.
    on May 20th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Part of the reason spray paint cans are under lock and key is because of a sad drug problem. they sniff the propellant. Can’t believe wanting to do that!

    My brother is a good graffiti artist … on the computer! He is good at art in general, though, and draws things that look like graffiti. So far as I know, the only places he has “placed” his art are legal places. I think perhaps under some Ohio river bridges you might find his design of his name combined from the following – N8. He has taken some amazing photos of bridges, going places that -umm- stretch the legal limits? to capture the perfect photo. When he was 15, his design won the bid and he painted a small town post office sign for their 75th anniversary in Chapman Ranch, Texas. So, I guess he did “graffiti” a sign. ha ha! Unfortunately, not long after that, someone stole the sign!

  6. #6 Rob
    on May 21st, 2010 at 6:57 am

    @Michael – I’m with you on cleverly amended signs, so long as it does not make the sign unreadable. I’ve seen signs in Greenville with gang graffiti on them, which is troublesome.

    @Jason – One reader sent me privately links to the works of a spray paint artist named Paco Rosic who has done a replica of the Sistine Chapel using spray paint that’s quite impressive. Here’s a link to a news story about him.

    http://wcfcourier.com

    @Vikki – Graffiti does seem to be more of a problem in large cities, though small towns are far from immune. Maybe that’s part of Paris having so much — the city of art and also a huge city.

    @Carrie – Some that I’ve seen lately (in person) is downright nasty.

    @b.j. – That is sad indeed about sniffing the spray paint. Fortunately, it sounds as if your brother Nate has found some very acceptable outlets for his artistic expression. :-)

  7. #7 Sue
    on May 21st, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I have a great admiration for graffiti artists. Obviously not all of the messages that they paint are God-honoring, yet what can we expect from people who have not had their lives changed by the Gospel?

    It’s interesting to consider all of the symbolism found in well-done graffiti. Colors, shapes, and styles all indicate the state of mind of the artist as well as the message that he wishes to convey.

    While I don’t have the skill to do good graffiti, or the desire to break the law to do so, I have a great appreciation for the work of graffiti masters.

  8. #8 Kristin
    on May 21st, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Just stumbled across your blog (love it) and really enjoyed this post. My six-year-old daughter is currently outraged every time she sees graffiti on a building – but then, none of OUR graffiti is as beautiful or clever as you’ve listed here. Thanks for sharing!

  9. #9 Rob
    on May 24th, 2010 at 7:05 am

    @Sue – I share your views. I can appreciate something well done, but I think I’d see it differently if it were done to my property. :-)

    @Kristin – I hope you’ll be back often and explore more. I’ve been at this for almost five years, so there’s lots to see on a wide range of topics.


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