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On Graffiti and Changing The World (sort of)

28 02 2012

I’ve always had a thing for graffiti even though I’ve never been great at spelling it, much less creating it. My artistry is mostly tuned in to capturing images of things I like so these images will be the closest thing I have to a contribution to the spray painting community. I preface this post saying that all artwork photographed belongs to anonymous artists. I have simply photographed what I saw and therefore apologize for any explicatives visible in the photographs and do not tie myself to any organization represented by the artwork. Politics out of the way, check out these awesome pieces.

The technique in graffiti pieces is really fascinating. The skull itself looked a little weird to me but the halo of sorts around it is really cool. It looks like the artist held the nozzle close to the wall and sprayed at an angle to create the dark point and the lighter tail feathering away. It looks like someone else put their own tags inside the eyes and tooth. I hate to see a decent piece getting ripped on by someone else.

I’m sure this piece has some sort of back story. I don’t know it but it makes me wonder what the tag means. I’ve thought a lot about this one. At first I thought it might have been some group, I considered maybe it was supposed to be ironic, or an observation on society. Maybe it’s just the coolest word with only 6 letters that artist knows how to draw well. Whatever it is, it makes me think, form my own opinions. I think a good photograph should do that too. Show you something beautiful and make you create your own story to match the image.

In a small town there aren’t many good places you can get away with graffiti. This wall is obviously one of them. A support wall for a bridge, this is a spot that brings out all the local would be artists. The majority of the people who tag here aren’t great, but most of them have a message that they want to get out. They don’t know how to touch millions so they do it in a way they don’t think will make a difference. They’re just one more spray painted peace sign in a big country. Maybe they aren’t changing the world but maybe they’re doing something more important. Changing themselves. They’ve gone out and done something for a cause. They’re part of that cause now. They believe in it. It’s a part of them. I’m not going to get political, philosophical or religious here but I’ll say this, if you don’t have a cause yet, maybe it’s time you found one. We all need to believe in something.

You already know how I feel about color and details. I took this shot cause the little rip in the surface of the paint caught my eye. The detail on the left side of the image pops a lot for me because the right side of the image looks so “GENERIC.” (for those of you with short term memory loss trying to figure out why that is all caps and in quotation marks, scroll up 🙂 )

This shot worked for me. I like blending things so crossing a dark and intriguing space in the upper left with a sky to the right using a half graffiti’d wall really gets the creative juices flowing. If you want to spice up your portfolio throw some contrasting things in it your don’t usually do. Work a classic sunset with something out of the ordinary. If you’re a wedding photographer, go shoot a day at a skatepark. Better yet shoot a young groom in a tuxedo at skate park. Actually don’t do that, I call dibs. The point is find some things outside of your norm, maybe even outside of your comfort zone and give it your all. In 20 years when you think about the things you did, you should be thinking things like, how didn’t I die getting that shot. I guess all this graffiti has me feeling like a rebel without a cause. I’m going to have to practice what I preach and try to get some wild stuff soon. Until then, I wish you all the best and hope to be sharing more content sooner rather than later this time. It’s been a crazy week.

Get me social in the sidebar. I’m big on the twitter. Share me down below I love meeting your friends. Comment me under that, I love talking to all you guys and gals! Bye for now, Arley (Here’s a graffiti post from a blog I follow if you’re still in the mood)

 

(By the way, I know I said no more politics up top but here’s a disclaimer. I don’t support or encourage graffiti. I’m just capturing it and sharing it. I know there’s a lot of controversy on the subject and it’s costing tax payer dollars to clean up. That’s all I got to say about that though. 🙂 )

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43 responses

28 02 2012
Joseph de Lange

As an art form graffiti is right on with any other form of art. It could be tied in with Expressionism and is both accessible and exciting. A good artist as a rule knows his/her craft and I am delighted, as you are obviously to photograph where I find it.

28 02 2012
96arley

Thanks for the commentary Joseph, always great to hear from someone with the same frame of mind

28 02 2012
modernzenphotos

Graffiti is always a magnet for photographers. It has all that we need for our art: color, texture, and patterns, Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

28 02 2012
96arley

I couldn’t agree more, it’s also so mind blowing for me to imagine someone creating it with a blank wall and cans of spray paint 🙂

28 02 2012
Emilio

If you’re interested in seeing “sprayed” art check out this guy’s amazing work: http://www.matteocattonar.com/

28 02 2012
96arley

Wow, that is some really amazing work. Thanks for pointing me that way!

28 02 2012
Russell Chapman

I agree. Graffiti can be a real art form.

28 02 2012
Meredith Barnes

Creativity+Passion=Art!!

28 02 2012
Meredith Barnes

and thanks for the mention 🙂 Super cool!!

28 02 2012
weavinglight

I remember visiting a town in Arkansas where they the kids were only allowed to do graffiti on the road leading up to the school. Kept the town clean and the road to school looked amazing. Graffiti should be allowed in certain places especially where there is a lot of old gray concrete.

28 02 2012
96arley

I really like that idea. I’ve said before that one day when I open my studio/gallery I will encourage non-gang graffiti on and around the building

28 02 2012
davidoakesimages

Graffiti…some graffiti is real organic art at it’s best…. some just well, vandals emptying spray cans and enjoying writing rude words. The only sure thing is that you cannot class all graffiti under one banner. Often the photo capture of graffiti is better than the graffiti.

28 02 2012
96arley

I agree, it was refreshing to see at least a handful of really good pieces though

28 02 2012
Dezra Despain

Graffiti is a wonderful art form and says a lot about the person expressing him/herself. I like coming across imaginative (art) graffiti better than hate graffiti. I most appreciate it in abandoned settings and on the sides of railway cars as I watch them go by. I’m inspired now to go check on my favorite graffiti to see what has come of it!

28 02 2012
96arley

I really like train car Graffiti because it has such rich history. It comes here from all across the continent!

28 02 2012
Dezra Despain

After reading your post I went to my favorite graffiti site. It sits on a working train track. A train rambled by and I captured some interesting graffiti. I’ll post it later this week and will link back to your post here. Thanks for the inspiration!

29 02 2012
96arley

That sounds great. It’s always fun to see someone else’s work that is inspired by your own!

28 02 2012
Mona

Thanks for the inspiration. Because I live in a city that’s rife with graffiti, I think I’ll make this a project. I too like train car graffiti.

29 02 2012
96arley

That sounds like a great plan, be sure to let me know if you share it!

28 02 2012
vandalvoyeur

Nice entry! As a complete outsider it’s a world that fascinates me.

29 02 2012
96arley

It definitely is a deep and interesting world

28 02 2012
lulu

Love your images. Like you I’m very attracted to graffiti. The Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport just had artists paint graffiti on the gallery walls. Wish I could have seen it.

29 02 2012
96arley

That sounds amazing. I would love to have been able to watch that!

29 02 2012
victoriaaphotography

Melbourne (where I live in Australia) is famous for it’s Graffiti in the many city laneways. I know I’ve got lots of photos of it. Some of it is like the greatest works of art you’ve seen, some…. a little less than great. But all of it is interesting. It’s considered a real art form here, not an obscenity or defacement of public walls.
I’m not sure exactly which year it suddenly became so famous. Not sure if my photos do it justice either Arley, but let me know if you’d like a post on it and I’ll see if I can put a slideshow together.
It is also on every railway siding, warehouse or vacant bulding in the inner and some outer suburbs.

29 02 2012
96arley

Send me an email, I would love to do a series with Graffiti from around the world using my different readers!

29 02 2012
fgassette

Great photos. I also like graffiti. Check out my post on it here: http://wp.me/p23TG1-gA

BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

29 02 2012
executivekoala

Nice Post!

1 03 2012
thethreesixtyfiveproject

Awesome post – I love graffiti! I think it was Andy Warhol who once said “Art is anything you can get away with.” And graffiti is definitely art in my book 🙂

1 03 2012
96arley

That’s a great quote, thanks for sharing

1 03 2012
Smaktakula

I can’t spell the word either.
thethreesixtyfiveproject’s Warhol quote is awesome. Let me add to that a definition I heard once (and I can’t remember to whom to attribute it) that ‘art is the residue of passion.’ That is, there is good art and bad art, but whatever you do with passion is art.

15 03 2012
96arley

Thanks, love the quote

1 03 2012
hannahcorrine

These are amazing! I love looking at graffiti and just thinking where it came from and who’s seen it. Loved the pics. Keep it up

15 03 2012
96arley

I get that feeling when I see train car graffiti too! Thanks for commenting

3 03 2012
A photo per day for March (Part III) « ckponderings

[…] on one image that I took on London’s South Bank on a pleasant February afternoon. Inspired by Shoot About, a blog I follow, hopefully this gives my slant on it all! Share this:TwitterFacebookLike […]

5 03 2012
Bethylicious

I love graffiti as well. My 7yo wants his room painted in graffiti but the only thing I can do is photoshop it, lol, so the poor kid is outta luck 😦

15 03 2012
96arley

I think I still want my room painted in graffiti! II guess some people never grow up 🙂

8 03 2012
Rebecca Booth

Great shots! I agree with you about getting out of your comfort zone and photographing the unusual and yes, i do agree that (some) graffiti can be classed as art.

8 03 2012
Mark Sugden

As someone who used to graffiti (still do, but only in books now), I really appreciated this piece. Thanks

Mark

15 03 2012
96arley

Glad you liked it Mark, what kind of books?

15 03 2012
Mark Sugden

Just blackbooking in my sketch pad. I can indulge while keeping out of trouble.

22 05 2012
Kay-Kay's Bird Club

that’s funny, as soon as I saw GENERIC I thought of I guy I know that used to tag his name, his name was generic but he spelled it generik with a K. Your post made me go “Awwww… generik how I miss you….”

22 05 2012
96arley

It’s great to hear something I found can bring back some good memories. I’m glad you stopped by!

24 05 2012
alessandro ciapanna

i so agree. street art makes places more beautiful. it’s there (if someone risks jail to place it there). it’s free. it’s for everyone. like it? look. don’t like it? walk on…

thanks for sharing 😉

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