Friday, July 15, 2005

Graffiti: art or crime?

I love graffiti. I love it in the way I love tattoos. Its colors. Its
placement. Its voice. Its randomness. Reading Jonathan Lethem made me
love it more. He made me want to be a graffiti artist.

The stars must have aligned or something because it's a series of odd
coincidences that have me blogging about this. Yesterday I stumbled
across a site called Graffiti Archaeology, and the flame was lit again.
Then I noticed the cover story of the style section of today's Post was
on the arrest of the infamous DC graffiti artist, Borf. I'd seen Borf's
work...who could miss the giant tag over the Roosevelt Bridge? I was
never a Borf tracker (though I've found myself inspired to seek out DC's
graffiti marvels for a shoot), but I found myself saddened by his
arrest. Don't get me wrong, I understand the sanctity of private
property, but most of the stuff graffiti artists tag is abandoned, ugly,
what I would call public, etc. Is it fear that drives people to despise
graffiti? Do they associate it with gangs? Fear a 'the wrong element'
is hanging around her neighborhood? Fear the message delivered?

I see graffiti as art. Yes, some may just be someone's initials or some
curse words, but look at the slope of the line, the color chosen. Look time you might be seeing my tag.


  1. Anonymous10:53 PM

    Okay, darlin, gotta disagree with you on this one. I've had to paint over graffiti on the brick wall outside my apt that was obviously not abandoned or a public space. Yes, some graffiti could be considered art -- but it's unfair to criticize those who don't want it on their private property. How would you feel if someone spray painted your car? I'm sure no matter how pretty the color they chose or the slope of the line of their signature you wouldn't be thrilled with it.

  2. Hoffert...I know this is you : ) And, you've got a point. There is definitely a line you don't want to cross, but graffiti on abandoned buildings...concrete overpasses...etc...I don't have a problem with it.