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Graffiti: The urban art
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-12-26 10:35:43
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The idea to write this article came from something that was suggested to me as a "must read", which was a story about a 20 year-old young man who was taken to a court room in Helsinki, Finland, accused of vandalism on the metro, trains and buses - actually, the young man was using colour spays and was doing graffiti. Unfortunately it seemed as though he was going to visit a Finnish jail for a short period of his life; of course, the accused pleaded his innocence and the court recessed to take a decision.



The young man, accompanied by an officer, went to the toilet and there, as the escorting officer later said, he heard ‘scratching noises’ and found the young man tagging the courthouse men’s room with a magic marker. The court decided to send him to prison and the police said that the damages this certain graffiti artist had caused to public transportation totalling up to 10,000 Euros. In a search of the man's house, the police found photographs of his work, sketches and, of course, a lot of colour spays and marker pens.




The problem here is that the state cannot see graffiti as form of art for only one reason: they cannot understand something that doesn’t make a profit! You see, you don’t have to pay a ticket to see it; it is just there on the wall - shocking, colourful, aggressive, provocative, sensitive. I have never understood why graffiti supposedly dirties and vandalizes when all these adverts dirty and vandalize the minds of people in the worst possible way. Actually, the only ones I think who are scared of graffiti are politicians and advertising company sharks. The ones who really vandalize public transportation are all these adverts that rudely try to make you feel inefficient and want you to buy their products.




Bansky, the most famous graffiti artist in Britain, has reached the walls of galleries lately but still he prefers the anonymity of the brick walls of London. He enjoys the adrenaline of the hide-and-seek with the police - you see, internationally graffiti is illegal! Amazingly graffiti is not considered art by the artists who also know there is no better place to exhibit your work, your paintings, than on a wall! Another amazing thing about graffiti is that one artist adds to the work of another - it is like a painting that evolves through different painters.



Graffiti is the absolute immigrant art; the artists are strangers in their own cities!

First published in EU-MAN's Universal Colours


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Sand2008-12-26 18:29:49
There is no question that some remarkable pieces of art have resulted from graffiti street artists. But the average contribution I see on some walls and scratched into the glass of Metro trains consists of badly written obscenities with no graphic merit whatsoever. I'm sure there are amusing things written on the inside of toilet booths but the lack of real talent or originality results in mere defacement, not art. Perhaps street artists should be required to ask permission before committing their efforts to inviting spaces. If they are good enough they might even get paid for their efforts.
I applaud the efforts in the discipline and it might be a good idea for the community to provide areas for people to try out their talents. If they are good enough they might be preserved but if they are mere disgusting messes they could be quickly painted over with white to provide surface for someone else to try. Competitions in the efforts could bring worthwhile publicity to the artists and provide a tourist attraction.

Thanos2008-12-26 21:43:18
I agree there are a lot of rubbish but the same time there are some fantastic and real artistic works. Actually a graffiti work has become the reason a long time ago for me to spent a week in Brussels and I was just passing by thinking that I will stay only one day! It was the side of an old building near the train station and it was ...plainly fantastic!

Free Graffiti Creator2008-12-27 09:59:31
you can read more about graffiti here : http://free-graffiti-creator.blogspot.com

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