graf·fi·ti /grəˈfiti/ [gruh-fee-tee] –noun
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.
Graffiti is one of those things that either you love or you hate. Here in Little Town Arizona it isn't something that you see often. Most of the time when you do see it, it isn't pretty. Some kid stops with one color of paint for 10 seconds in an alley to write "(Insert Name) sucks c*ck." Within a week it is painted over and forgotten. Rarely is there any 'art' aspect to the spray paint.
Personally, I am one of the people that enjoys graffiti (when there is more to it than the above), so whenever I find it in 'Everybody's Hometown' I try to capture it. Sometimes it is something fairly basic like a stencil of a flower on the wall:
And once in a blue moon you will see OLD graffiti around town. Like this face that has been around since I was a little kid:
Every now and then somebody just decides to make something prettier:
Sometimes people go to great lengths to put their mark on the world, like on the backside of Watson Lake Dam:
The only place in town that I know of, which shows off its graffiti is a house on south montezuma street, which is now going to be blocked from view by a house going up in front of it:
I've only ever known one person who actually 'did' graffiti, and that was my sister Nikki the artist. She explained to me where it was, and took pictures, but I never went looking for it. A little different from your average graffiti, she did it with acrylic paint in the drainage system of Prescott. She did a flower:
And a butterfly coming out of it's cocoon:
Now, years later I stumbled upon where her painting was during a lunch time walk! The entrance is the type of tunnel that seriously makes you question your decision-making-paradigm. It's dark, there is an unknown liquid underfoot, and it is exactly the type of place you would expect to find crazy homeless people ready to kill for a nickel. Yep, this seems like something my sister would do.
Of course one of the first things I find is some homeless person's belongings!! At least they are out killing somebody else for a nickel and not me! After I got over the fear of being in a small, subterranean, enclosed space I began snapping pictures. Wow was there a lot to see. The space where Nikki's art used to be has been covered over many times:
There was a supporting pillar covered in tags. And yeah, on the left there? Homeless person stuff! Don't believe me? Check out the large version!:
Somebody got creative and put an octopus around a drain pipe:
And my favorite picture, "Prescott Rocks":
And the only thing you see from the street level is this innocuous grating:
After seeing all this good picture-worthy goodness, I am now on a mission to find more of these little hidey-holes of paint. Hopefully the homeless folks don't find me before I can take some more pictures.
So what are your thoughts on Graffiti? Pointless vandalism, valid street art, or somewhere in between?
11 photos from the walk are in the alley walking PHOTOSET