http://www.chieftain.com/news/pueblo/pueblo-police-on-the-lookout-for-mop-taggers/article_732cd07a-9b68-571f-8ad8-c01945a05720.html My town has graffiti; I love graffiti, I love to see graffiti. As a youth it was graffiti that gave me my outlet, it gave me my voice, my freedom. Graffiti gave me my closest friends and my greatest lessons. Graffiti has defined me since my youth, and I am proud to call myself a graffiti artist.
My town has graffiti; I love graffiti, I love to see graffiti. As a youth it was graffiti that gave me my outlet, it gave me my voice, my freedom. Graffiti gave me my closest friends and my greatest lessons. Graffiti has defined me since my youth, and I am proud to call myself a graffiti artist.
Recently in my town, I have noticed that a wave of graffiti has swept our city, for me, I analyze and appreciate it. Now I’m not condoning vandalism or the destruction of property, but as a person who pays very close attention to our visual landscape, I would say that the graffiti is the perfect representation of the state of our city. We are a city with angst, with problems, with no sense of direction, but the will to go forth regardless. My town is grimy and sneaky; we allow the freedom of speech and the ability to perform such acts of civil obedience as taking back the public space.
Our community, all communities, in fact, are saturated with advertising and a false sense of aesthetic preference probably decided by your local Dick or Jane who reads blah blah blah magazine and thinks they know what looks best. Then out of nowhere, by the grace of God, we see the freedom fighters who fearlessly inject themselves into the visual landscape of the city. Sure it’s not beautiful, and it represents decay, but i still prefer it over the Pepsi-Cola ads which typically officially sponsor our city.
Much deeper problems need to be addressed and confronted to understand our graffiti movement. I see a city that is content with decay. All aspects of our city face neglect and disregard and graffiti represent this. When I see waves of graffiti cover our city, I see the exact nature of our city coming into visual being. And when you see lots of people acting out in such ways, it represents the fears and disappointments in a system that failed. We see so many abandoned children left to wander the streets alone at night and write their names on everything. And we complain about and judge the act, but we don’t acknowledge that this person is only rebelling against their situation, going against a system that we are set up to fail in. When I see graffiti in the streets, I see a person looking for attention, looking for a change, trying to find hope. For me, I see graffiti as the catalyst for change.
Graffiti for me became my most trusted outlet. It became the place where I was free to be myself, and grow, and learn. It was through graffiti that I found out that some rules are meant to be bent and stretched. As I grew as an artist, I learned the real effects of graffiti, and it has enabled me to develop into the artist that I am. It has pushed me to reach a high level of performance which then allows me to give back to the same community which the graffiti artist me took so much from.
A graffiti-covered city is a good reminder of how we as members of the community need to take the time to take care of our community and its appearance. I look at graffiti as backlash from the same neglect that caused the drug and gang problems. But graffiti then becomes the hope for the future. Graffiti evolves, and the practitioners develop their skills. Murals and street art then become a way to combat the graffiti and hopefully inspire the finer types of spraypaint art. By encouraging graffiti, we can, in the end, help to reduce the graffiti. While we can’t make anybody not act out, we can show them ways in which we can act out, get the recognition that we want, and also contribute, not just take from the community. It is within our means to take control of our visual landscape, and I aim to help as much as I can.
Through mural painting, like those throughout downtown, we can detour some of the tagging and create fun, safe environments for people to explore and also express themselves. With projects like “The Village Walls ” I aim to add as much interesting art and graffiti art as I can to our landscape to help inspire the next generation of artist to strive for more refined ways of expressing themselves.
You can donate to the project by purchasing one of “The Village Walls’ shirts which help to fund public art and murals around Pueblo.