Saturday, October 20, 2007

Graffiti - Art? Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

There is between SW20 and Wimbledon Train/Tram/Tube station, a narrow
almost attractively overgrown, railway footpath.
On my daily early morning walk
to the start of the SWTrains commute I sometimes groan
inwardly at the graffiti-filled gaps in the undergrowth on the footpath.
Great dawbs of tags meaningless to middleclass commuters like yours truly,
seem to spoil the natural atmosphere wild plants and weeds have created
in the urban jungle.

Walking down this same footpath on this sunny Saturday, I noticed a
teenager who looked as if he had just come from the USA TV hit "The Wire".

He was inspecting the graffiti handiwork and carefully taking photographs
of what to him were its star pieces of art but the beauty of
which passed me by, almost entirely.

Those living in "The Wire" type background must have learnt to
apply more direct ways
of making their mark on what could be to them, a overly, far too ordered and grey society, than, those who seem more fully integrated,
even though the latter don't perceive the greyness.

I still loathe the graffiti but am more watchful about
the need not to add the greys but to instill more personal
colour to one's and others everyday life.


  1. I think the best graffiti I've ever seen were the frescos in Italy, including the Sistine Chapel. I'd appreciate it more nowadays than I did back then in '79, when I was doing my student rail tour of Europe.

    By coincidence, I've been printing some out recently as I put together a file of the worlds best art, for my kids. You can find quite a lot on the net, including on Wiki. eg under the artist, or "Western Painting" etc etc. I'll have to do a search for "Western Graffiti", to see if anything really good comes up lol.

  2. TX for your comment DT.

    The Sistine chapel ceiling is fascinating.

    Banksey's 'art' intrigues more
    as does the attitude taken by Tower Hamlets bureaucrats


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