Urban Art / Graffiti
It is a common misconception that all forms of graffiti are thoughtless and uninspired. I think it’s unfair to generalize them this way, because although art is indeed a matter of opinion, many people haven’t seen urban art in any form other than tagging or gang related vandalism. While vandalism is illegal, tagging is only one small facet in the realm of graffiti. To me, art is anything made or performed that is aesthetically pleasing, and graffiti has its roots in creativity and originality.
Graffiti has existed since Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, changing and evolving with the times. Early on it was still a form of expression. Drawings, paintings, and scratches on cave walls, were the most primitive examples of graffiti, created by what few instruments and materials were available. Today, we have the luxury of going to the art supply store and buying whatever colors and mediums we desire. These ancient peoples it seems, were expanding their minds on the cave walls, and beginning a means of expression for hundreds of generations to come.
The amazing thing about human beings is that we have these unique and individual thoughts and ideas, differentiating us from other people. We have a preferred means of expressing them, whether it be writing songs, drawing cartoons, or spray painting. It’s amazing that we have this ability to picture some image in our heads, and recreate it however we want.
My appreciation for urban art began when I was in San Francisco. There was a wall my family drove past every time we went to my grandparents’ house, which was always tagged with black paint from top to bottom, very intimidating from a child’s perspective. The summer I was ten years old, we went to visit and the wall had been painted over. Some teenagers had decided to cover up the gang symbols with a world surrounded by different people holding hands. This type of art that is positive and encouraging, it’s a shame that everything...