If artistic value is found in murals why not Graffiti?

My love for Graffiti is real. I don’t know what it is about Graffiti that speaks to my urban/suburban soul. Perhaps my naturally rebellious nature makes me root for Graffiti artists every time I see a tagged surface. A freeway overpass or divider wall, under a bridge, the side of a building, anywhere Graffiti is not supposed to be makes me cheer.

For some, finding beauty in graffiti is challenging. I understand. One may not momentarily be able to suspend property rights to appreciate the pure, creative nature of graffiti. During my travels around the country, outside the U.S., and through local neighborhoods, I search for graffiti and murals. Graffiti and murals make me abruptly stop when walking, or pull over when driving. My mind feels the colors and shapes on a tagged wall, door, section of a railroad track, or glimpse of a highway overpass. I try to decipher what the letters or design may mean when not obvious.

From downtown Seattle, Washington to its suburbs, from Brooklyn, New York to a Dijon, France subway, and an underpass in Geneva, Switzerland, to the railroad tracks between Lausanne to Gruyere in Switzerland, to Reims, France the Champagne capital of the world-graffiti captures a moment of personal expression in any language, and in many colors. The timeline of world art is divided into periods going back as far as 300 BC cataloguing art from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. Artistic expression is categorized, and to a great degree interpreted for us. Those who create murals or graffiti may not have formal training, but still demonstrate visual creativity in unconventional ways.

Sometimes beautifully symmetrical, and other times totally raw. We may not exactly know what the messages communicate in murals and graffiti, much like ancient African Yoruba art, or Egyptian hieroglyphics. Today’s message may be a shout-out of pride, a cry of frustration, colors of anger, or simply a warning. Most important, graffiti communicates I-am-here.

The old saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” also holds true for art. View a growing gallery of graffiti and murals, and behold the beauty.

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