), Topics: Captivating urban artwork shows how graffiti breathes life into communities. Specifically, he observed “independent graffiti murals” that are designed and implemented by artists with a personal connection to the neighborhood in which they are installed -- and in many of the cases, are created with the permission of the building owner. Think Christian is a production of ReFrame Media. I learned a great deal, yet I still saw a lot of people spraying their names (or “tag,” the name they create for themselves) on other people’s property. August 31, 2011. “[This is a] cost-effective way both to keep surfaces free from vandalism and to create visual cues to residents that the place they call home is desirable,” Verel writes in the preface of the book. In a setting where honor is so hard to come by, even small slights become exaggerated. Never miss a new Think Christian article! Can we, at the same time, see how these young men are looking for a modicum of respect they have been denied? However, graffiti on trains, train stations, buildings, and old architecture is a complete pain for whoever has to pay to remove it, and can be a sign of a lower income part of town. For people who have felt trapped by walls, mitigating the power of those walls is one way to conquer them. Even in the exhibit, which was fairly positive, most of what I saw confirmed my views of graffiti as teenage hooliganism. Undoubtedly, most tagging is just people looking for a thrill. Graffiti art is an issue that occurs in many places around the world and it’s controversial based on whether the artist has permission or not. By Cameron Keady. Burlington ON, L7R 3Y8, phone: 616-942-9383 To focus on this constructive creation, Verel explored how graffiti murals are created in Jersey City and Trenton in New Jersey as well as in New York City. Destructive ways to assert one’s value in the face of a dehumanizing situation are common. Is this all there is to graffiti? All rights reserved. 1700 28th Street SE Social Trends, Justice, toll free: 800-879-6555, Pop Psalms: Talking Heads' “Once in a Lifetime”, Guilt, Grief, and Ghosts in The Haunting of Bly Manor, Fighting Fate in Final Fantasy VII Remake, Board Games in Quarantine: How to Keep Community Intact, 10 Pieces of Pop Culture Lamenting Racial Injustice. In a world that dehumanizes, dehumanization is disproportionately strong in these poor, marginalized communities. Patrick Verel, a journalist and photographer, has completed a series of case studies on graffiti in three American cities to illustrate why street art is important to keep urban areas and their residents energized and inspired. Diversity. However, the photographer is clear that his aim is not to say tagging and graffiti should be decriminalized altogether. Graffiti Can Actually Be A Good Thing For Cities. North America. Subscribe to our email updates to get new articles in your inbox. We must be careful to avoid this error of inadequate judgment by moving into redemption. Street art is an important part of history and identity for many metropolises, and this photographer is working to keep that image intact. “But little is paid to the ways graffiti is harnessed for good in a form that’s both constructive and authentic.”. Many analyses of violence in poor urban settings claim young men posture as a way to demand what small degree of respect they can. Compiling these studies in his newest book. Patrick Verel, a journalist and photographer, has completed a series of case studies on graffiti in three American cities to illustrate why street art is important to keep urban areas and their residents energized and inspired. Street art is diverse from every way you look at it. “This is in direct contrast with blank walls, which may be seen as a sign of order within a chaotic urban environment, but offer no respite from otherwise drab surroundings.”. It's one of those things I’ve never understood. Street art is an important part of history and identity for many metropolises, and this photographer is working to keep that image intact. fax: 708-371-1415 Part of HuffPost News. It is easy to see the error in this violence, and rightly condemn it. Graffiti helps us to do that. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! These Christians were passing themselves off as teachers, but James calls them “a friend of the world” because they were condemning each other for their mistakes. In the Chicano civil rights movement, a few people asserted their power over the walls by writing their names on them. Graffiti Murals: Exploring the Impacts of Street Art. The good in graffiti. Overall, though, I stand at the position that graffiti is a good thing, because when purposefully and legally created, it can be something beautiful to look at. Train bombing is one common form, where a group of writers will quickly cover a train in graffiti before the authorities arrive. With titles like “Art that Lifts a Struggling City” and “Back in Action under the Tracks,” the studies seek to expose a bright underbelly to areas that have experienced hardship, or viewed as desolate and colorless. Can we see how we might react that way in a community that has over 25 percent unemployment? “A lot of attention is given to the 'broken windows' theory, which says that signs of disorder like petty vandalism, fare jumping … and yes, graffiti, open the window to larger crimes,” Verel told The Huffington Post. Art illegally installed on the front door of business without permission or on the window of the subway is “jarring and upsetting,” Verel says, and “interferes with people’s everyday activities.” Rather, when completed as a collaboration, with respect to the building and its owners and occupants, street art can keep cities aesthetically appealing places to live. But for a percentage, graffiti is able to express a defiance Christians can embrace. ©2020 Verizon Media. There’s so many types of street art, from … An exhibit label described a people who felt walled in to urban ghettos. In his epistle, James speaks to those Christians who consider pointing out the flaws of others their Christian duty. Graffiti can be a way to awkwardly stand up for one’s dignity, but it can also remind servants of Jesus that the world is still unrepaired. It was a way to deny the supremacy of the walls which trapped them. However, there are different types of graffiti such as trying to spread your message out, to make a certain area look “better,” or … Graffiti bombing is when a large graffiti piece is put up over a short period of time. Jaz in Baltimore in 2012 (Photo courtesy of Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images). Remember, while Martin Luther King Jr. and others were working for the civil rights of African-Americans, a similar movement was taking place among Chicanos in California. On the West Coast, it entered a significant new phase with Chaz Bojorquez and others around the time of the Civil Rights movement. I was surprised to discover graffiti seems to have developed independently on the east and west coasts in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It's one of those things I’ve never understood. Culture At Large, (Of course, graffiti in various forms has existed for centuries.). It is easy to see that graffiti is a violation of other people’s property, which should be condemned. Graffiti has been on my mind of late, thanks in part to a New York Times report on a nationwide surge in graffiti and a Museum of Contemporary Artexhibit on graffiti that recently concluded in Los Angeles. 25 Street Artists' Works From Around The World, Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter, Good News Associate Editor, The Huffington Post. Compiling these studies in his newest book, Graffiti Murals: Exploring the Impacts of Street Art, Verel hopes to show how artists and building owners can come together to foster the creation of artwork that can be viewed as beautifying and reviving a city, rather than destroying it. Grand Rapids, MI 49508, PO Box 5070 One mural explained Chicano graffiti as a resistance. Even if these graffiti artists have found a less than constructive means of standing up for themselves, their insistence on their own dignity resonates with the Christian belief that every single human is made in the image of God. For some of us, it is easier to see the way oppressive situations, such as the European ghettos for Jews during World War II, were dehumanizing in the past, but less easy to see the way situations which exist today in our own country are similar. We can also take the next step, and see inside graffiti artists and taggers the image of God crying out for recognition. This relationship can then help develop positive interactions between businesses and members of their community. News & Politics, Stephen P. Hale Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Stephen Hale is wrapping up a MA in Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary and volunteers with undergraduate commuters at Biola University. Captivating urban artwork shows how graffiti breathes life into communities. The story on the East Coast is basically what you would expect: people started using oil markers or spray paint to put their tags in various places, and the practice caught on. He blogs at pushofpikes.wordpress.com. “When one of these graffiti murals comes together, you get the best of both worlds: jaw-dropping artistic talent from men and women who’ve in many cases honed their craft for decades, and partnerships between them and local property owners that will outlast the very art they’re creating,” Verel told HuffPost. Today is National Voter Registration Day! Graffiti has the potential to stand for things Jesus stood for. Arts & Leisure, • Graffiti Can Actually Be A Good Thing For Cities. (Photo courtesy of Pureanal/Wikimedia Commons. There is a difference between graffiti and street art. Verel hopes to show how artists and building owners can come together to foster the creation of artwork that can be viewed as beautifying and reviving a city, rather than destroying it. Stephen P. Hale • August 31, 2011 Graffiti has been on my mind of late, thanks in part to a New York Times report on a nationwide surge in graffiti and a Museum of Contemporary Artexhibit on graffiti that recently concluded in Los Angeles.
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