Monday, June 7, 2010
What causes one to pick up a can of spray paint or a knife to carve words into paint . . . . Freedom of expression? A desire to be recognized for something? A way to show the world your talent?
There is something I love about graffiti. I am fascinated every time I drive past a train riddled with spray painted art. Don't get me wrong. There are some pretty stupid things spray painted out there. But there is some true art. I always wonder about the pieces I've seen that are elaborate in detail and rich in colour. How was the artist able to have that much time to create this masterpiece?
I live near a railway in a small town and the train passes through several times a day. It provides many opportunities to view this moving slideshow of artwork. I have several pieces I've seen that I would love to see again. My eyes are constantly glued to every train I see. Sometimes I have my camera with me . . . sometimes I don't. It's those times my camera hasn't been by my side when I see fabulous artwork . . . and it makes me cringe to know I will never see that piece again. So I study it intently as the train speeds past hoping I'll recall every detail later.
Two works stand out in my mind. The first is a human eye painted in a very realistic style. What amazed me was the size. It wasn't something small like 5' x 5'. It took up the whole side of the train car. The iris was carefully positioned on the widest "bump" protruding from the side. It was very three dimensional and was nothing short of amazing! The second was an image of three crosses on Calvary the day Christ was crucified. It, too, was done in a realistic manner. The depth of the painting drew the eye in across the hills to rest on the three crosses off in the distance. Tremendous work!
The next time you see graffiti posted somewhere, take time to pause and really appreciate the artwork someone has left for you to see. I'm not talking about the random "Adam C. sucks d***!" That is just crass. No, I'm talking about the works of art full of colour and passion. The masterpieces someone was willing to put up for the world to see. How long did it take them to paint it? Do they come up with the ideas on paper first? Why do they risk the chance of being charged by the police if they are caught? Have they always been so bold . . . ?
Graffiti – noun
1. pl. of graffito.
2. (used with a plural verb) markings, as initials, slogans, or drawings, written, spray-painted, or sketched on a sidewalk, wall of a building or public restroom, or the like: These graffiti are evidence of the neighborhood's decline.
3. (used with a singular verb) such markings as a whole or as constituting a particular group: Not much graffiti appears around here these days.
This is from one of my all-time favourite commercials for Pfizer -- enjoy!