January 29, 2009 at 4:00 am #175377
Some call it art, others call it vandalism. I want to hear your opinions, and am also curious as to whether graffiti walls work or not. (These are designated spaces for graffiti art, often located in skate parks or other places where a lot of teenagers hang out.) I have heard both sides, some say it’s a great idea and others say that graffiti is anti-establishment and that designating a place for it defeats the purpose.
Discuss.January 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm #175421
I agree. Another issue is that many communities have gang presences, or other anti-establishment groups that may place their symbols on the wall. “KKK”, for example. I love the idea of giving young people a way to express themselves, but I agree with you that it is difficult to monitor what occurs and decide what is appropriate and what isn’t.
The photo above is part of a series of walls behind a shopping area in Charleston, SC. I really love the work they did, and the fact that it is somewhat hidden adds to the allure. You happen upon this unexpectedly, ,and I don’t see anything violent or divisive about this particular series of works. I will add in a few more pictures.January 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm #175420January 29, 2009 at 1:33 pm #175419January 29, 2009 at 1:36 pm #175418January 29, 2009 at 1:38 pm #175417January 29, 2009 at 1:41 pm #175416January 29, 2009 at 3:38 pm #175415Matt EwertParticipant
I think that they can work quite well. In Melbourne, Australia the city has designated areas for tagging. These areas are located in their alleys. However, the alleys of Melbourne are used much more efficiently than we use them here in the U.S.. Some of these spaces even aided impromptu restaurants and cafes. It was very encouraging to see how the graffiti walls were woven into the urban fabric of such a great city.January 29, 2009 at 5:46 pm #175414
This image below was taken in Freiburg, Germany which was one of my favorite cities in Europe. They had a similar situation as Melbourne it sounds like, where they had designated areas for tagging, and to take it one step further, kids had to get a permit (which was free) before they could tag. It was really successful. All of the tunnels that go below the roads and all along the canal were covered with graffiti…and the rest of the city was left alone.
Here are a couple of my thoughts about graffiti:
– First of all, I would consider it an ephemeral art…it constantly evolves with every layer added, and thats part of the beauty of it.
– Secondly, I do not think it leads to violence, if anything, it gives kids the ability to be heard and seen without having to resort to fighting.January 29, 2009 at 6:56 pm #175413
Interesting timing of this thread. I was just read and interesting article called “Graffiti 101” in the Rip Rap section of February issue of LAM. Interesting article, worth taking a look at.January 29, 2009 at 8:06 pm #175412Vance W. HallParticipant
I personally have lived in and around a artist neighborhoods and public parks with great implementation of free walls and graffiti friendly zones (Santa Fe area-Denver, and Dallas arts district) and know that they can work as an addition to the identity of the neighborhood. However I must agree with Andrew G, knowing the pulse of the community is a necessity. This is why it may work so well in artist neighborhoods. They are observant, communal and able to monitor without censoring. They keep out the violent gang based tagging with a quick artistic adjustment while promoting its citizens to express themselves. I think doing a quick door to door survey in the area will give you a good idea if the area is ready or able to have such stimulus in the area.
Love the topic,
VanceJanuary 29, 2009 at 9:28 pm #175411
Ok, I think we are all in agreement that graffiti can be considered artwork, and can have a place in public spaces. But what about situations like the picture below? This is in Belfast, Northern Ireland, next to the waterfront. They have tried to install public artwork in public spaces around the city, and much of it is vandalized by youth who have too much freedom and too much free time. What methods can be used to prevent this? Would having designated areas for graffiti help? Are there any precedents for that?January 29, 2009 at 9:31 pm #175410
Better public art?January 29, 2009 at 9:41 pm #175409
lol…It’s some sort of abstract sculpture. I admit, it’s not my favorite, but at least they are trying to implement a public art program. Belfast has had many really beautiful public art pieces destroyed in recent years, usually by bored youth. There is a glass mosaic piece further down the river walkway that someone took a blunt object to, breaking the glass.
One part of the solution is increasing use of the spaces, so that more eyes are on the artwork. I am just wondering if a secondary component of the solution might be suggesting a graffiti wall. But I would like to know if there has been any research done on the benefits of having designated spaces where graffiti is allowed.February 1, 2009 at 6:34 am #175408
Andrew, sorry your reply was deleted…don’t know how that happened! The pictures I posted here are not controlled. It is possible that the owner of the building gave the artists permission, although to be honest I sort of doubt it. The art here is hidden, no one would find it unless they typically drive around the back of abandoned strip malls looking for it.
As to your other point,though, I agree with you. The right situation is key. I really do want to hear about more precedents for designated graffiti walls…please post pictures too if you have them. Thanks!
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