Graffiti Badasses

Sometimes you see something in life that just inspires and makes you think “I want to be able to do that.” I grew up in a small Midwest town, and well let’s just say nothing much happened in my small town. Sure there was crime and the usual everyday life, but for the most part it was just boring. I went off to a boarding high school, then to college, then to Boston. Somewhere along the way I grew interested in graffiti. I definitely did not find that interest from my small town. If there was tagging of any kind, it was with a non-artistic kid that went rogue with a spray can either because they were bored or because maybe someone had pissed them off and they decided to get back with a paint can.

I find it interesting that graffiti originates back to Ancient times, and today it can have a positive or negative connotation. In some neighborhoods, graffiti is welcomed as it means kids are off the streets and putting their energies into an art form. In other areas, it is looked at as controversial because of what the art might depict to other community members. Either way, I always gravitate towards graffiti that is done well, even if sometimes I find I do not understand what I am looking at – isn’t that the case with many types of art? You see what you see, or you see what you want to see.

Take a moment to watch this five-minute video of a graffiti installation (or part of it). The amount of time that must have taken, and the creativity and talent of these Australian graffiti artists.

A little writing on the wall…

I am this quasi clean-cut girl. If you see me enough you will find that I usually wear black, white, and grey and then I have fun with accessories. I love me some unique, organic, and one-of-a-kind jewelry, bags, scarves. Having said all that I am trying to branch out and wear more color. Trying yes. My closet is still 95% black, white, and grey.

For all you guys out there, don’t close the window. Keep reading, I promise this blog is not about the color of my wardrobe. Really all this babble has more to do with graffiti. If you are Facebook friends with me, you will see that at the moment (and for many months since I am too lazy to change it) my cover photo is of Amsterdam graffiti. Whenever I travel I am always on the look out for two things: good cupcakes and graffiti. If you were to ask me how I felt about graffiti on a philosophical level I would tell you that tagging a building is unacceptable. If you were to ask what I think of graffiti in regards to art, I would say it is badass. 

For my birthday this year, my sister got me (among other things) a book called: “Bay Area Graffiti” by Steve Rotman and Chris Brennan. Such a great gift, conversation piece, and coffee table book (or bathroom book depending on how you roll). On my recent trip to the Bay area I saw such great graffiti, they really make Portland graffiti look like kindergarten art.

These pictures I took were in San Francisco, where an alley was covered on both sides with graffiti. There was so much I could not decide which ones I wanted to capture. I was also not the only one in that alley, it was quite busy with different individuals who also found this alley of graffiti/artwork of interest. If you are ever in San Francisco, be sure to check out the Mission District. This particular alley was on Valencia around 21st.


The Art of Spray Paint

I am a fan of interesting graffiti. I know it is bad. Deep down I hate that individuals are tagging public or private property, but there is also an art to it that I truly love. I find that whenever we travel, my eye is led to the urban art and graffiti of the area. I usually snap a photo. But before I show you those, I must put the talented artist first. This spray painted face is amazing. I found it on David Kanigan’s blog. My favorite is the first one, which I have included here:

The detail and shading are incredible. Who knew what was possible with spray paint. If you want to view more of the artist’s work, you can go to David Walker’s website. This is the type of art I would like to see on a side of a building rather than it just being tagged.

I thought I would also share a few other photos I took in various cities. Scroll down and enjoy!

graffiti in Amsterdam

graffiti in Ventura, CA

graffiti in Portland