But What about the Economy?

As I have mentioned in my previous blog posts, graffiti is an expression of what one is feeling. Lately youth have been feeling angry about the economy.  How are we, the youth, supposed to deal with it?

Many people are taking videos and incorporating graffiti into it as this popular youtube program does.

Sometimes people use the term graffiti in order to help explain what is going on in the economy like this article called Graffiti: Ruminations on political and economic Life. Others feel that graffiti is the cause of the economic downturn.

Whatever one may feel, graffiti is unique. We can use it to express our deepest desires, concerns and ambitions. Or we can simply relish in it’s beauty. As graffiti evolves, society seems to evolve with it. It will be exciting to see the creative art that is yet to come.

The Flower You Need to Stop and Smell

Although we may know about the existence of graffiti and that it is a common type of illegal and legal youth expression, we don’t really recognize how graffiti surrounds us everywhere we go. We don’t really take the time to look at that drawing on the wall and think about what it really means. Everyone in our society is too wrapped up in where they are headed to notice the important messages along the way. Before taking an interest in graffiti I did the same. Sometimes I would be too caught up in my own thoughts to even notice the beautiful displays of art. But I want to point out that political graffiti is closer than you think. At UMass there are dozens of graffiti displays trying to communicate to the student body in what may be the only way they know how. Take for example this piece:

This piece is entitled “The Fading Girl”. It is beautifully done in shades of grey on an old cement wall. It is a powerful image and was created in memory of a person who committed suicide a few months ago. The faceless girl with awkward hands seems to be dragged into an unknown abyss. This artist expresses his or her plethora of emotions through a message to all students. This message may be different to different people, but to me it is saying that disappearing does not erase memories.

Another image that one can see on campus is:

The poem that goes along with the image is as follows:

But I

I would

If I could

I would Wish it away

Wish it away

Wish it all away

Wanna wish it all away

This piece is a powerful one as well. The creature is down on his knees. It could be describing the enormous stress and pressures that students are feeling today. I think it could range from student debt, to trying to fit in. The poor awkward-looking creature may feel like a fish out of water because of his tentacles. He is also trapped inside a box and probably feels like he can’t get out. This may be referring to technology and the media. There is no way out and we are so submerged in this society, we don’t even know how it influences us any more.

Across the seas Bansky is spreading messages about society too. He reflects on societal ills by infusing them with innocent images. Here is a good example:

There are many other artists around the world who have a political statement. These artists range from the United States to Kenya. And while some graffiti can be a harmless piece of art, some can start a revolution.

Graffiti

One of the cool things about graffiti is that so many different types of people use it. Ancient Greeks, ancient Romans and urban gangs have all used graffiti to claim territory and make political statements. We commonly use graffiti now to express ourselves.

One type of expression is called tagging. Artists pick a fake name and write their name in different ways all over the surrounding area. This does mark territory, but also shows off how the artist’s particular style.

For example some graffiti can have some instilled messages like the picture above. Others have a certain twist. The image below is called cartoon graffiti. Cartoon graffiti commonly has electric colors that evoke emotional appeal. They also include a cartoon character that is known in the area in order to elicit certain feelings.

Many graffiti artists also have some sort of message that they want to send. Since it is difficult to put those political messages in public places that everyone will see without getting arrested, photographs are taken and put into blogs. Artists can also become famous by being put into books. Whatever the case may be, graffiti gets seen. One of the most popular places for people to post their favorite art is on youtube.

Artists have also become more creative than the traditional ways to get their work seen. Some artists have put graffiti on their cars. By marking your car, or territory, in that manner is a statement of what kind of lifestyle you lead. The vans commonly decorated with graffiti art travel around the country and do not stay in one place for too long.

There is a great deal of debate on good and bad graffiti though. People who  run around tagging and vandalizing public property are usually not accepted. These people are often called posers and are not seen as true artists.

One question I will try to answer by my next blog post is how graffiti affects our culture, and in what ways.

 

Blog Overview

Blog posts are a new form of media that anyone and everyone can do. Blogs can be written about anything. They are fun and interactive. You can post videos, add images and insert links. Some blogs are primarily text, and others are a place to display photography and art work. Each blog post is on average about one to three paragraphs. Most blogs are fun and reflect our culture. Others have a serious tone and promote awareness.

My blog will be focussed on graffiti art. The majority of the blogs I read on graffiti contained numerous pictures and videos of how to properly tag a wall. These videos include tips on how to get the desired effects you want. Here is one very popular blog that focusses on graffiti as an art. These blogs allow graffiti artists to display their art work in a legal way.