Graffiti is a form of art much in the same way that rap represents a genre of the music scene. Graffiti is vivid and undoubtedly very expressive but treated much in the same way as rap music, with suspicion and resentment. Graffiti pollutes and is considered to be the work of vandals. To be caught graffiti-ing, the artist can expect a high penalty. But it is infectious and a dedicated network of artist go to great lengths to project messages for change, messages of desperation but in the right place this anti sociable art can reflect positivity, humour and beauty. It can take ten years to become a qualified user of the spray can.
It is inconceivable to think that art can come with a health warning. The risks and challenges associated with producing a statement on a grand scale in bizarre situations can be life threatening. But is it all in vain?
As I sit on a train, having looked forward to my usual window seat in hope to gain my own inspiration for the day, I am confronted with an uninvited and most unwanted outlook. Instead of beautiful coastline graced with palm trees and fishing boats, I am blighted by vulgar caricature figures offensive to my eye. I make no apology in saying that at the first opportunity, I moved.
When I had the opportunity to visit an exhibition dedicated to graffiti, I admit I was skeptical and although I was curious, I was not over enthusiastic. Within moments my curiosity and skepticism was replaced by awe and admiration. A mass of colour exploded in front of my eyes. There was so much to absorb. I suddenly understood the power of the spray can. What I once thought vulgar, now had me mesmerised in a jaw dropping situation.
Without a doubt graffiti, also known as urban street art may have an agenda and may even be better described as propaganda art but whatever it chooses to be called, it is still an incredible way to express and where words fail, the art work yells out.
When it comes to art, the talent reveals itself in all shapes and sizes. It is a question of venue and making a statement that can stand up and be noted. This outspoken art made a valuable point in the right situation. In my eyes it was no longer misunderstood.