July 21, 2010

Graffiti: Is it Art or is it Vandalism?


I guess the answer to that question is whether the graffiti was invited? Whether it offends? Whether it helps add beauty to the spot?

Here are a few pictures of the “graffiti” wall at the Hospital where I work. An artist was hired to paint a 100 foot span of wall on the inside of our parking garage back in 2003. Let me tell you, I love seeing this painting each day. Over the years, people have taken it upon themselves to personalize the wall. Which I think is totally cool, as long as there is no profanity or innuendo. Here is where patients have thanked their nurses or Doctors. The family has written prayers for healing. Widowed spouses have written love sentiments. Children have memorialized a parent or grandparent.


You’ll have to excuse the picture quality, these were taken with my phone.


As you can see, the graffiti here is really pretty special. Every now and then you’ll see a full name or a date. But mostly it’s written by the anonymous amongst us.


Not one profane word. I think this is similar to the playing of classical music in the roughest subways stations in New York. Then they see less crime there because the behavior of the vandals has been elevated, from hearing the classical music. Either the bad guys can’t handle “genius” in music and high tail it, or it speaks to the higher side of the would-be vandals nature.

Other than this wall, the only other time I’ll see graffiti these days is on the side of a box car of a train. I always watch the train go by because every now and then I’ll spot some real talent! And I always hope that the person behind it is using it…..using it for good.


I found this alphabet on line. It looked like a simple enough graffiti for me to draw myself. Using my usual tools I proceeded to write out GRAFFITI in my moleskine. This was fun!! The only thing I wish I had more of was paper, got a little tight down there toward the “i.t.i”. I don’t do much word art. Probably because I have a very limited idea of hand-drawn fonts.


What do you think of Graffiti? Dare I ask, have you ever graffiti’d?

Related Links:

Graffiti Art

Graffiti Article


Darnita said...

I enjoy perusing graffiti books. I think it is quite an art form. I haven't graffiti'd on any property, but I did so much as try to download graffiti software. Can't remember the name of the program or website though. I'm completely in favor of it as long as it is positive and not negative/gang-related.

Rebecca Anthony said...

I love the wall of Graffiti you posted and the way you described it makes it that much more beautiful! I have not attempted graffiti myself other than on a canvas.

Jeanne Nelson said...

What an awesome wall for patients, families and/or staff to add their tributes and memorials! Love the bright colors within it too. As for your piece of Graffiti, WOW ~~ awesome! I, too, find myself eyeing each passing railroad car to see if I can read the graffiti and/or find inspiration there. I am so intrigued by it, and you're inspiring me to try my hand at it...real soon! Love what you've done with this, Eden! Thanks for sharing, and happy creating!

Julia Christie said...

I've never graffiti'd but I have seen some real artistic talent displayed on walls and especially trains. Yours is so cool - I love the colors and how you made the letters stand out.


Anonymous said...

Nope, never graffiti'd,...hehe....some of it can be pretty cool looking, but it has to not be 'nasty' or profane, like you said!

there are some talented misfits out there in the world....lol

as for me, I'll stick to my journal too!
and you had asked me whether or not I keep a private journal that is separate from the 'public' eye here on my blog..and the answer is NOPE again!
I try to be positive in my journaling and my thinking...so I am not afraid to share any of my recorded thoughts!

well, there ya have it!

thanks for coming by....!
ciao bella
creative carmelina

Dawn said...

ooh how awesome! both the wall mural and the graffiti word art you did :) Now I want to try it!

I never have graffiti-ed, but I do think it can look pretty awesome.

Threads of Inspiration said...

I've never done any graffiti myself but I do think some of it is amazing. The wall at your hospital is really a living, evolving piece of art. What a tribute to the hospital that they haven't tried to take it down or clean it up.

lori vliegen said...

that graffiti wall is the sweetest thing i've ever seen.....so colorful, so full of love and hope!!! i love it when things like this are allowed to happen, when no one interferes. it shows that this world is full of wonderfully loving people!! i'm going to have to try some of those graffiti letterforms.....in my journal first, then maybe a wall and boxcar.... xoxo, :))

Melisa Marzett said...

You know, I am not the one who may consider graffiti as an art!Decorating street walls should not be legalized! Moreover, I found one more intriguing blog entry you may be interested at: http://bigessaywriter.com/blog/graffiti-wall-art-or-act-of-vandalism!

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By day...I work in the Healthcare field, where every .. i.. has to be dotted and every ..t.. has to be crossed. This blog is the place where I can let myself go and have some fun. I am on a journey. A journey I started a long time ago, but it has been a bit sidetracked with Navy Wife relocations and raising kids. I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and I have got some time for me. No, I will not be one of those moms walking around the house with Empty Nest Syndrome, I have got way too much to do, to learn, to create. Sure, once the kids are gone I will miss them....but hey, there is always the phone, the email, the texting and the Plane tickets! I love my life and my family and It is fun moving into this new stage. I am into Digital Scrapbooking, photography, journaling, Art Journaling and Drawing. I am a do-it-yourselfer and I am trying to teach myself to draw. I am finding that it takes a lot of patience, lots of practice and a good eraser! And if you're really curious there's a 3 part Interview by Eileen: HERE All the best, Eden