Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Graffiti Wars

There are a few things that get people really, really excited, and not in a good way. Death, taxes, graffiti...yes, graffiti, as I discovered when I posted recently about an innovative idea for graffiti and had the audacity to refer to graffiti as art.

You always know you've hit the button when fights start on Facebook and you get more than one vitriol-filled email accusing you of plotting the destruction of the world through your nefarious blog posts. Usually this kind of reaction is reserved for political posts or those having to do with municipal issues (man, have I ever been anonymously spanked over some of those) but on occasion another topic so inflames and incenses that people get a wee bit dramatic. Such is the case with graffiti, apparently.

My particular favourite is when people send messages in ALL CAPS because you know they mean business when THEY USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS TO MAKE THEIR POINT. Graffiti certainly seems to bring out the all-caps crowd, which is intriguing because it seems like a fairly minor issue compared to the whole death and taxes thing.

Nobody likes property being defaced, including me. However I also believe in innovative solutions and in grassroots movements. I happen to think yarn bombing and guerrilla gardening are pretty cool, and the idea of encouraging graffiti artists (there I go calling them artists again, cue the angry all-caps types) to paint on plastic wrap seems like a great way to address some of our current graffiti woes.

I think many people fail to make a distinction between a graffiti artist and a tagger. Graffiti artists create works that may not appeal to everyone but that go beyond "tagging" everything in sight with a few shots of spray-paint for the sole purpose of name recognition. A tagger might take seconds - an artist could take hours. Taggers don't seem to care much about aesthetic quality. Lumping taggers and graffiti artists into the same group truly isn't fair as it's like comparing my doodles to the work of Picasso. 

There are some who believe graffiti of any kind has no redeeming qualities of any sort. They aren't interested in innovative ideas for allowing graffiti artists to do their thing while also protecting private property, and I'm not only cognizant of that but fine with it.

But I swear to god the next person to send me an an angry email will find their words spray painted across my back fence for the entire world to see. 


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