5.19.2008

readers speak: unknown beauty.



I'm consistently amazed by the art of graffiti, and call me unpatriotic, but I find nothing more refreshing than a spray-painted overpass.

To me, the act of graffiti is nothing more than guerilla artists pushing the envelope in their individual worlds. Who are we to say that their art is less important than the prints, portraits and framed artwork that is hanging in the gallery on Main Street?

And who knows? Maybe the intent isn't to deface public property so much as to wake us up to the world around us. To remind all citizens that beauty is here, and it's found in the most obvious places.

Are we encouraging the creative minds around us?

Or are we arresting them?

30 comments:

zara said...

If loving graffiti is unpatriotic then I am as well. There's nothing like well placed graffiti to, as you say, wake you up and make you think.

I love it.

Feanne said...

I enjoy graffiti as long as it is artfully done, in which case I believe it adds beauty and interest to otherwise boring spaces. But here where I live (Metro Manila) it's usually just simple vandalism... carelessly sprayed gang's names and stupid phrases, or plainly vulgar symbols... and in that case it is senseless. Destructive, not creative.

I like the idea of guerrilla gardening:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerrilla_gardening
Sort of an organic, environmentally-friendly form of graffiti :)

Hila said...

I spent about an entire day taking pictures of graffiti in Paris when I got lost on my own :)
This has to be one of the nicest graffiti photos I've seen.

danica said...

I'm doing research on graffiti at the moment and, personally, I consider it to be a form of art. Yes, there is some defacement of property involved (whoops), but it's worth it to view the spontaneous and wonderful images that can appear in the urban environment.

design for mankind. said...

AMEN-- I agree with all of you! And wow--- guerilla gardening is quite the concept! Thanks, Feanne! :)

alexandra said...

I love graf too - it's like snatching unexpected moments of art.. I love that.

pia said...

what a great post erin (like you never heard that before!;-)) , that website is incredible - there are hours of visual fun in there, i only got through scrolling one page and i am already hooked!! I agree with you about graffitti, i love it too and good graffitti is a breath of beauty in a cold concrete village. px

kosenrufu mama said...

i love graffiti, and amazing the picture!

karey m. said...

i love banksy.

have you ever seen www.sendamessage.nl/

talk about waking up the world around us, yes?

kat said...

When we visited Barcelona we found the graffiti there AMAZING. Couldn't stop photographing it. Some kid tagged the outside walls of our house once, that sucked.

heidi said...

I agree... can you imagine if cave paintings were banned?!

leah. said...

I agree that graffiti is beautiful--not including those who just simply spray paint their "tag" on something.

I live in DC and one day waiting for the metro on the adjacent train tracks there was a grey train car that had "hug your kids" and "tell your children the truth"

...I had never seen something so touching. I took pictures (since i always have my camera handy). I'm planning on blowing the pic up and putting it somewhere in my house.

.. I'll have to check out the link.

oh man, i could go on about all the beautiful graffiti i've seen in my life, but i'll spare the trips down memory lane. :)

Have a great day--i hope it's not rainy where ever you guys may be.

Esti said...

very well said. A true post.

IF+D said...

I threw a huge graffiti event last February and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. These artists truly are artists. They sacrifice so much just to show the world their art. There is so much thought and passionate and work that goes into graffiti and there is a huge underground culture with their own sets of rules and respect. And you know what? All these artists, some of whom have been to prison for their cause, are some of nicest, most respectful, amazing people i've ever met.

check out event photos here: http://ifdaustin.blogspot.com/2008/03/catch-up-catsup.html

Krissy said...

I think if it's not just a spray painted tag, it should stay. Really, when I get stopped for a train to pass while driving I quite enjoy looking at the graffiti from other cities. It's like they are touching you from afar.. Silly as it sounds, I really love it.

Have you heard about ZeroTAG?
http://www.ibelieveinadv.com/2008/05/zero-tolerance-against-graffiti-banned-posters/

I love the gardening idea :)

Paris said...

Haha! I bloody love you too man!

What always baffles me is when you see the most beautifully talented artistic and complicated MASSIVE piece of 'graffiti' (I use hyphens because I see it more as art) and it's on a bridge above a very high drop or somewhere out of reach. I think not only are these people artists but they must be magicians too because how on earth do they get to these places and stay there for hours and days creating that? They must be in a harness or something but then where do they keep their materials? So many questions...

Fafi started as a graffiti artist and has since worked with major players in the fashion world such as Le coq sportif and MAC!

design for mankind. said...

I love your thoughts on this, guys. And Krissy-- what a poignant thought. Graffiti on trains--- touching you from afar. It's quite beautiful!

If+D--- I'm dying to know when your next event is.

And Paris--- how DO they do it?! :)

And Leah--- OMG I'd love to see this photograph.

Kate said...

If you've never been to it, next time you're in New York you have to visit 5 Pointz in Queens. It's this big warehouse that the owners have allowed graffiti artists to just come and have at it over every inch of the place. It's very regulated, you have to go and talk to the guy who coordinates it and he picks a spot out for you, gives you a permit, etc. It's truly an amazing sight: http://flickr.com/search/?q=5%20pointz&w=all

After dating a graffiti arist for over a year now, my eyes have been opened to such a facinating culture about something that's more than just art, but "marking your territory" and putting your name out there. Train car painting is most interesting to me. That you make something on a train that could travel all the way across the country and people will see it all along the way.

design for mankind. said...

OH GOSH, Kate--- thank you so much for such a lovely link!

And I agree--- it is one fascinating culture.

Leah said...

Sure! Here's one of the shots: http://www2.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=216209077/PictureID=4645864048/a=98152167_98152167/t_=98152167

I made it black and white while enhancing the original color of the paint.

I'm not internet saavy... so i hope that works. I'll find the other one when i get home from work. :-)

design for mankind. said...

Good LORD, Leah--- that is beautiful! :)

quaint handmade said...

graffiti art = good
tags = not so much

this former factory in nyc now houses artists and is covered in legal graffiti that is always changing

http://queens.about.com/od/thingtodo/ss/lic_art_2.htm

Lesley Denford said...

I totally support street art. I think there are some amazingly talented artists out there who happen to use spray paint as their medium, rather than the more "traditional" oil or watercolour paints. I actually just did a whole post about Toronto graffiti the other day...

http://tinyurl.com/68satn

Love the colours and textures!

design for mankind. said...

AMEN! :)

JanelleGrace said...

http://queens.about.com/od/thingtodo/ss/lic_art_2.htm

I pass this everyday.

design for mankind. said...

You lucky girl, Janelle! :)

Jennie said...

The Krog Street Tunnel is right around the corner from my house in Atlanta. It has been deemed a graffiti safe zone -- the city never paints over it. As you'll see in the pictures, local bands and neighborhood festivals use the archway to advertise their events. This used to be a run down area but is now becoming nice. Locals love the tunnel.

amy said...

I also enjoy a spray painted overpass.

In my old neighborhood there was a bridge that said on one side, "the grass is always greener" and on the other side it said "on the other side" they painted over it recently and I felt a little sad.

Another overpass I've seen said, "It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it."

I'm sure they made a lot of people smile.

design for mankind. said...

Oh wow--- I love those ideas. :)

number said...

Ive read this topic for some blogs. But I think this is more informative.

welcome.

because beauty lies in the details of design. in the pencil shavings, in the blueberry waffles. the vintage dress, framed portrait, old postcard.

design is inevitable. celebrated. design for mankind.

5.19.2008

readers speak: unknown beauty.



I'm consistently amazed by the art of graffiti, and call me unpatriotic, but I find nothing more refreshing than a spray-painted overpass.

To me, the act of graffiti is nothing more than guerilla artists pushing the envelope in their individual worlds. Who are we to say that their art is less important than the prints, portraits and framed artwork that is hanging in the gallery on Main Street?

And who knows? Maybe the intent isn't to deface public property so much as to wake us up to the world around us. To remind all citizens that beauty is here, and it's found in the most obvious places.

Are we encouraging the creative minds around us?

Or are we arresting them?

30 comments:

zara said...

If loving graffiti is unpatriotic then I am as well. There's nothing like well placed graffiti to, as you say, wake you up and make you think.

I love it.

Feanne said...

I enjoy graffiti as long as it is artfully done, in which case I believe it adds beauty and interest to otherwise boring spaces. But here where I live (Metro Manila) it's usually just simple vandalism... carelessly sprayed gang's names and stupid phrases, or plainly vulgar symbols... and in that case it is senseless. Destructive, not creative.

I like the idea of guerrilla gardening:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerrilla_gardening
Sort of an organic, environmentally-friendly form of graffiti :)

Hila said...

I spent about an entire day taking pictures of graffiti in Paris when I got lost on my own :)
This has to be one of the nicest graffiti photos I've seen.

danica said...

I'm doing research on graffiti at the moment and, personally, I consider it to be a form of art. Yes, there is some defacement of property involved (whoops), but it's worth it to view the spontaneous and wonderful images that can appear in the urban environment.

design for mankind. said...

AMEN-- I agree with all of you! And wow--- guerilla gardening is quite the concept! Thanks, Feanne! :)

alexandra said...

I love graf too - it's like snatching unexpected moments of art.. I love that.

pia said...

what a great post erin (like you never heard that before!;-)) , that website is incredible - there are hours of visual fun in there, i only got through scrolling one page and i am already hooked!! I agree with you about graffitti, i love it too and good graffitti is a breath of beauty in a cold concrete village. px

kosenrufu mama said...

i love graffiti, and amazing the picture!

karey m. said...

i love banksy.

have you ever seen www.sendamessage.nl/

talk about waking up the world around us, yes?

kat said...

When we visited Barcelona we found the graffiti there AMAZING. Couldn't stop photographing it. Some kid tagged the outside walls of our house once, that sucked.

heidi said...

I agree... can you imagine if cave paintings were banned?!

leah. said...

I agree that graffiti is beautiful--not including those who just simply spray paint their "tag" on something.

I live in DC and one day waiting for the metro on the adjacent train tracks there was a grey train car that had "hug your kids" and "tell your children the truth"

...I had never seen something so touching. I took pictures (since i always have my camera handy). I'm planning on blowing the pic up and putting it somewhere in my house.

.. I'll have to check out the link.

oh man, i could go on about all the beautiful graffiti i've seen in my life, but i'll spare the trips down memory lane. :)

Have a great day--i hope it's not rainy where ever you guys may be.

Esti said...

very well said. A true post.

IF+D said...

I threw a huge graffiti event last February and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. These artists truly are artists. They sacrifice so much just to show the world their art. There is so much thought and passionate and work that goes into graffiti and there is a huge underground culture with their own sets of rules and respect. And you know what? All these artists, some of whom have been to prison for their cause, are some of nicest, most respectful, amazing people i've ever met.

check out event photos here: http://ifdaustin.blogspot.com/2008/03/catch-up-catsup.html

Krissy said...

I think if it's not just a spray painted tag, it should stay. Really, when I get stopped for a train to pass while driving I quite enjoy looking at the graffiti from other cities. It's like they are touching you from afar.. Silly as it sounds, I really love it.

Have you heard about ZeroTAG?
http://www.ibelieveinadv.com/2008/05/zero-tolerance-against-graffiti-banned-posters/

I love the gardening idea :)

Paris said...

Haha! I bloody love you too man!

What always baffles me is when you see the most beautifully talented artistic and complicated MASSIVE piece of 'graffiti' (I use hyphens because I see it more as art) and it's on a bridge above a very high drop or somewhere out of reach. I think not only are these people artists but they must be magicians too because how on earth do they get to these places and stay there for hours and days creating that? They must be in a harness or something but then where do they keep their materials? So many questions...

Fafi started as a graffiti artist and has since worked with major players in the fashion world such as Le coq sportif and MAC!

design for mankind. said...

I love your thoughts on this, guys. And Krissy-- what a poignant thought. Graffiti on trains--- touching you from afar. It's quite beautiful!

If+D--- I'm dying to know when your next event is.

And Paris--- how DO they do it?! :)

And Leah--- OMG I'd love to see this photograph.

Kate said...

If you've never been to it, next time you're in New York you have to visit 5 Pointz in Queens. It's this big warehouse that the owners have allowed graffiti artists to just come and have at it over every inch of the place. It's very regulated, you have to go and talk to the guy who coordinates it and he picks a spot out for you, gives you a permit, etc. It's truly an amazing sight: http://flickr.com/search/?q=5%20pointz&w=all

After dating a graffiti arist for over a year now, my eyes have been opened to such a facinating culture about something that's more than just art, but "marking your territory" and putting your name out there. Train car painting is most interesting to me. That you make something on a train that could travel all the way across the country and people will see it all along the way.

design for mankind. said...

OH GOSH, Kate--- thank you so much for such a lovely link!

And I agree--- it is one fascinating culture.

Leah said...

Sure! Here's one of the shots: http://www2.snapfish.com/slideshow/AlbumID=216209077/PictureID=4645864048/a=98152167_98152167/t_=98152167

I made it black and white while enhancing the original color of the paint.

I'm not internet saavy... so i hope that works. I'll find the other one when i get home from work. :-)

design for mankind. said...

Good LORD, Leah--- that is beautiful! :)

quaint handmade said...

graffiti art = good
tags = not so much

this former factory in nyc now houses artists and is covered in legal graffiti that is always changing

http://queens.about.com/od/thingtodo/ss/lic_art_2.htm

Lesley Denford said...

I totally support street art. I think there are some amazingly talented artists out there who happen to use spray paint as their medium, rather than the more "traditional" oil or watercolour paints. I actually just did a whole post about Toronto graffiti the other day...

http://tinyurl.com/68satn

Love the colours and textures!

design for mankind. said...

AMEN! :)

JanelleGrace said...

http://queens.about.com/od/thingtodo/ss/lic_art_2.htm

I pass this everyday.

design for mankind. said...

You lucky girl, Janelle! :)

Jennie said...

The Krog Street Tunnel is right around the corner from my house in Atlanta. It has been deemed a graffiti safe zone -- the city never paints over it. As you'll see in the pictures, local bands and neighborhood festivals use the archway to advertise their events. This used to be a run down area but is now becoming nice. Locals love the tunnel.

amy said...

I also enjoy a spray painted overpass.

In my old neighborhood there was a bridge that said on one side, "the grass is always greener" and on the other side it said "on the other side" they painted over it recently and I felt a little sad.

Another overpass I've seen said, "It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it."

I'm sure they made a lot of people smile.

design for mankind. said...

Oh wow--- I love those ideas. :)

number said...

Ive read this topic for some blogs. But I think this is more informative.