No-loss investing secrets
Canadian elections and management issues

Graffiti as art

I'll use this post to collect some of the positive info I come across on graffiti, such as successful legal walls and murals.

It seems when you talk to city officials, police, or politicians they have no shortage of material on the negative aspects of graffiti. However, it's often outdated, or from another city with different conditions, or very anecdotal, or compliled by a biased source, like a removal firm. I admit I do have a bias towards preserving and promoting graff as an art form - that's why I take photos of it and work at this.

I've been running a Google alert on graff murals, I'll start this off with a few and keep adding to it - so you should do a permalink to it.

  • Ottawa Citizen - Apr27/08 China Town's Mural Wrong Size - they had to reduce the size to be legal under the sign bylaw, but it's too small for an anti-graffiti grant, it doesn't cover the entire wall. 
  • Catwalk Queen - Apr 4/08 Own a Piece of Banksy's Kate Moss - famous British graff artist Banksy now makes big bucks from his art
  • Warringah Online - Feb 21/08 Graffiti - legal mural programs in New South Wales (Australia) city
  • Orange County Register - Feb 17/08 Santa Ana College exhibit shows graffiti as art - Art exhibit designed to show the artistic side of graffiti -while still saying it's all vandalism. 
  • Liverpool City Champion- Feb 13/08 Community Mural - Vantage Community Services was faced with repeated tagging on the 5 metre long wall of their new digs - so they had some local artists do a mural.
  • Philadelphia Bulletin - Feb 11/08 Neighbourhood Murals Create a Ripple Effect - story about artist taking part in the Philadelphia Mural Arts program - they have a $5 Million dollar budget ($800,00 form the city) and more than 2,000 murals city wide. They employ about 300 artists, plus many volunteers, and do 150 murals (indoor/outdoor) a year. A very successful program, that reduces tagging, beautifies areas, and redirects youth to develop as legal artists.
  • Round Town News - Feb 8/08 Pretty as a Picture -  In Torrevieja Spain residents turn to murals to combat tagging, after being a Write4gold venue in 2005.
  • Port Lincoln Times - Feb 7/08 Fresh Look needed for skate park - mural done by youth 5 years ago, getting tagged since new group of young people have less ownership in the piece. Probably something all mural projects need to consider. 
  • Kansas City Infozine News - Feb 6/08 Portrait Gallery Embraces Hip Hop  - about a Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery exhibit that blends various hip-hop elements.  According to the article, the curators carefully addressed the negative public perception of hip hop. Curator Robert Goodyear said that the news media have tried to move the genre to the margins of society because of the "very real" negative connotations of misogyny and violence. 'But there's nothing marginal about hip hop at all. Hip hop is at the center of our culture. It's the most influential cultural phenomenon that extends beyond the music," Goodyear said.
  • Zimbio (blog) Feb 5/08 Naugatuck Graffiti Artists Will Have Legal Place To Paint - Naugatuck (Conn) is building an 8 x 75 foot legal wall for artists
  • Monterey Herald (Calif) Feb 4/08 - Salinas has been battling to get various urban arts more accepted, and streamline some of the bylaws and permits blocking the way. There are some murals, but it's hard to get funding or approval, some don't understand the images, some see as gang related. Story describes an Art Congress they are planning to spread aareness of the issues, and start some networking.
  • Yakima Herald (Wash) Feb 4/08 -Story about a couple of late night hip-hop DJ's that have started their own guerilla project - painting over tagged areas with murals with a social message for the area.
  • The Independant (London, Eng) Feb 3/08 - long article about graff artists (such as Banksey) that have moved their murals to canvas - and whether legal grafiti is a contradiction in terms. Some galleries now use the terms cult art, or street art or urban art . 
  • Boston Globe - Feb 3/08 - talks about some Boston U students that got tired of the mess in their area from weekend parties. They hold regular cleanups, and plan to expand in the spring to adding plantings and graff murals by local artists. 
  • Globe and Mail (Toronto) - Feb 2/08 - article  by Janice Lindsay on interior design in Toronto homes with murals - especially by graff artists. Paid murals of course. Links to several good sites, including some artists in Toronto.   


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I tried to post a comment previously, but it either never got received...or you removed it.

I'm concerned about the legal walls. I think it is a great initiative to allow graffiti writers to express themselves and have a medium. But I'm wondering why graffiti writers who have clearly bombed Ottawa are allowed by the graf community to put peices up on Tech Wall and House of PainT. If anything, the graf community should be trying their best to present a clean image...and should censor bombers from the legal walls. If they already are choosing to use tons of illegal walls...why allow them to paint on the few legal walls that more legitimize graf writers want to use. If anything the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Police are going to be watching the legal walls....and if they see graf writers that pursue illegal activities putting peice up on the legal wall regularily....without the local legal community policing their own wall...then why allow the legal walls? They'll just end up being one more surface where bullies like vandal bomber hit without any concerns for other writers in their rush to get UP....and if they don't have any respect for the attempt of the city to reach out...the graf community will end up getting no respect.


yakima Herald (Wash) Feb 4/08 -Story about a couple of late night hip-hop DJ's that have started their own guerilla project - painting over tagged areas with murals with a social message for the area.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)