Writing On The Walls Of Public Property: Part 4 – Graffiti

Graffiti is an absolute return to the value of art, to art of the most primitive kind, that was born in the wildest hearts of people who wished to creative simply because they have to. Done with the most ancient of human resources that have developed, simple methods felt in movement, and by using everything around you to your own advantage. Here nothing is dismissed as unnecessary or unhelpful is serving the quest for searching for truth in art.

For one to understand the extent and potential of art on the streets it is necessary to disorganize the way we see the urban cities that are rigid and organised, ultimately reflecting the world in ourselves that was once also blank, and ready to be claimed by the colour and excitement of the world we hoped for and live disappointed for it never arrived, because the older you get the more you understand and the more order we inadvertently attempt to maintain.

And there is something happening now, right now, that will one day be recognised as the biggest art movement the world has ever seen in the history of humankind.

Because the truest art, the art that demands you to see the unseeable, or to think the previously unthinkable, to exercise your imagination to the very point where you yourself are convinced that you too can change someone with what you create, is the art that comes from the bottom. Art made by the kids, the kids in spirit who have no interest in financial reward, who have their wealth inside, and their acclaim in the knowing that they took part in something that didn’t require them to sell-out or be part of the general consensus of expectation.

Graffiti art began with raw energy, and the willingness to do something you were not allowed to do, to say Fuck You to control, to the forces you to follow the slow progressing monotonous line of mendacity, that force-feeds you advertisements and television. It is the same reason why people skateboard – to tear shit up, to piss people off, the same thing that punk did, the same reason why hip hop music was so relevant.

It is uncut, uneditited and unapologetic expression. It is Do it Yourself and made by people who forever don’t want to grow up, and who create because they wish to see something tangible, something real that represents them, and where they came from.

And so whether you tag your name to say that you were here, to vent the anger you feel against growing old, to express yourself in a series of short movements, or because ultimately what’s better than putting something personal upon a blank surface for the sheer reason that it’s something you’re not allowed to do, in world that is more and more trying to keep you as a softly-spoken, well-mannered, mature and responsible, steady-moving, solemn-faced, mundane job-working, television-watching, fashion-following, ‘cool’ book-reading, non-dangerous, non-truth speaking, non-self.

So if you ever try to think about what graffiti is, and why it means so much to so many people, remember that it isn’t always about it is – it’s about what it isn’t.

And one last word on the forces that are so fervently fighting against graffiti- keep fighting. Without the police and the media and the closed lives of the middle class that see graffiti as a threat, against legislation against trespassing and vandalism, against those who are exploiting money off of graffiti and putting art in galleries- keep fighting against the artists. Without you, graffiti would be nothing.

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