Is Graffiti public art or just vandalism? I bet that there is some part of you that either cringes or smiles at the sight of graffiti. A spray-can masterpiece that jumps out at you - a shock of color that slaps you in the face - a hidden away message that makes you stop and think.
Or maybe you stop and think that it's just garbage, a monstrosity of line and color, a visual cacophony of paint and nonsense, a talent wasted on a can of spray paint.
What makes a street artist want to vandalize property?
Who are these artists? Why do they hide this talent under the mask of anonymity and darkness? What makes a street artist want to vandalize property, you say? Maybe it's the rush of it all. Maybe it's a feeling of insecurity, maybe an alter-ego seeking acceptance or maybe a voice yearning to be heard?
I have mixed-emotions when it comes to Graffiti. The artist in me gets a kick out of finding art in unexpected places. The Catholic school-boy sensibility in me still cringes at the sight of vandalism to someone's property(abandoned or occupied), but if art's purpose is to stir emotion, by that definition graffiti is by all means art.
Today, I have attached a gallery of Peter Green's images that focus on paste-ups and stencils. Peter Green, a creative friend of mine regularly posts great snapshot photos of street-art images on Facebook when he happens upon them as he travels, surveying property for his company in and around Chicago. Some of the images are more familiar to us Chicago commuters than others. When I see one I recognize, I say to myself, "Peter was there today." And now it clicks - I think maybe that is the universal message Street-artists have for us. "I AM HERE!"
I inwardly chuckle at the wit of some and the humor in others. Some I just enjoy to look at and wonder how they did that or how they avoided being seen. Have you seen any of these on your daily commutes? What do you think about Chicago's street art? Are there any pieces in your neighborhood that make you smile, brighten your neighborhood or anger you due to their content, vulgarity or location. Tell us about it.
Check back for tomorrow's post. We will feature large scale works of Chicago's Street Art, so be sure to check it out and comment if you are familiar with them.