Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Life and Times of a Graffiti Artist

I thought it would be interesting to address graffiti's growing status as a means of expression in the art world. Some people may scoff and call it low art, but there is no denying that it is rapidly gaining popularity. Banksy (who, if you can't tell by now, is one of my idols) can sell a piece for hundreds of thousands of dollars, but still chooses to go out on the streets at night to spray paint modern day Mona Lisa's. What street art has accomplished is the opening up of art to the masses, making the streets into a virtual (art) gallery. Art is no longer just for the wealthy anymore, but for the working man as well. Be you a businessman or homeless person, anyone who walks past a bit of street art can appreciate it.

I'll end with a section taken from Banksy's "Wall and Piece" on the subject of graffiti…

"I'm going to speak my mind, so this won't take very long.

Despite what they say graffiti is not the lowest form of art. Although you might have to creep about at night and lie to your mum it's actually one of the more honest art forms available. There is no elitism or hype, it exhibits on the best walls a town has to offer and nobody is put off by the price of admission.

A wall has always been the best place to publish your work.

The people who run our cities don't understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit, which makes their opinions worthless.

They say graffiti frightens people and is symbolic of the decline in society, but graffiti is only dangerous in the mind of three types of people; politicians, advertising executives and graffiti writers.

 The people who truly deface our neighborhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff. They expect to be able to shout their message in your face from every available surface but you're never allowed to answer back. Well, they started the fight and the wall is the weapon of choice to hit them back.

Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place." -Banksy


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