I love graffiti. I’m not a huge fan of tagging necessarily, although those who can look at tags and immediately see words and the order they are supposed to go in amaze me. But I really love graffiti. I love the art of it, I love that it can give breath to a city’s soul, I love that it’s something that’s done under cover of night.

When I was a senior in high school and my mom insisted that I get senior pictures taken, I agreed with the condition that I pick the locations. So we went down to LoDo in Denver (the LoDo of my youth, not the yuppie haven it’s become) and took pictures under and around the 20th St. Viaduct (which, incidentally, no longer exists).

There was an old train yard around there as well, so all of my pictures were taken either next to huge walls adorned with graffiti or bright yellow abandoned train cars mottled with rust. It was so much more fun than I ever thought it would be and they turned out perfectly. There was something brilliant about how the bold colors of the graffiti and the train cars balanced against my shyness in front of the camera.

We have train tracks very close to our house now and I get stopped for trains on a regular basis and it seems like the amount of graffiti has decreased while tagging has increased. I wonder what that’s about. Maybe tighter security? Or more graffiti artists finding an audience in less “underground” avenues? I don’t know, but I miss the big pieces on the side of train cars.

If I had one ounce of artistic ability in me, I think I would have been a graffiti artist. I would have loved creeping around at night armed with spray paint and the audacity to inflict my art upon my city. Swirling colors in life size city soul prints.

I know. I’m a bit cheesy today. I’ve just got this totally irrational attachment to graffiti. Part admiration, part envy. It’s just such a free art form. Unencumbered by conventional restraints. And in my current rebellion against convention, it just makes me happy.


smallfishbigpond said...

Do you sometimes that that Rebel should have been your middle name?

mosaica said...

Indeed, and I'm sure my parents would agree with that!