Graffiti is something that actually has a little bit overlap in my life. The word “graffiti” has such a bad connotation I think. It’s labeled as vandalism and punishable by law. (By this same logic, I still think we should ban chewing gum… sidewalks are so gross with old gum plastered everywhere!)
Anyway… Graffiti is “bad.” But is it really? Back to how it’s had a place in my life. Rowing teams notoriously tag bridges and sea walls on locations they’ve rowed. This might be their home river (the Potomac has a couple of Georgetown Gs on some arches from ambitious classes) or the river where they train for spring break. Tampa, as a matter of fact, is a super popular spring break training location for crews from all over. The river is covered with collegiate tags. I love it, but a lot of people didn’t. (There was a big debate in Tampa on whether to remove the graffiti or not.)
I don’t see vandalism at all. I see a colorful representation that Tampa is a host for thousands of collegiate rowers from around the country every winter. I think it’s a tiny mark of history!
(Not going to lie… when I rowed on the Hillsborough River, it also provided me with some entertainment if I was bored in bow seat “setting the boat” during drills.)
The other night, I had fallen asleep. Garrett woke me up and convinced me to go downtown to see some famous graffiti artist that was in New York City. He tried explaining who it was, but I was half asleep and I’m not really sure why I even agreed to go. But we ended up in Chinatown (literally at 1:30am) to see the street art. I didn’t get it, but we weren’t alone so I figured it was a bigger deal than I realized. (Spoiler: It is a big deal.)
While answering emails yesterday, I watched the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. I love documentaries, so I’m always game for one. Plus, I was super curious about this guy and what his deal was. It’s a REALLY good documentary. It’s a really cool look into the rise of street art and the exclusive culture that’s cultivated around it. You really get to see artists at work and see another artist break into the market (in an absurd way)… and get a real glimpse of who Banksy is.
Now I totally get the hype behind Banksy and it’s cool to have seen the first work in his 30 day series in New York City. You can follow the show on Banksy’s website if you’re not in New York City (or simply not into running around the city trying to find the next one…).
Do you think graffiti is art?