Is Graffiti Art?

So you can see from this picture that graffiti art is beautiful. In my locale, there are plenty of spacious sites for graffiti artists. The most commonly seen are the brick walls that run alongside the tube rail networks, built in victorian times, and some twenty feet high at least. Daubed with every conceivable colour, and all kinds of illegible tags. There are other sites, though, more hidden from public view, where the graffiti artists are free to work on their creations without fear of arrest, harrassment or other clashes with figures of authority. I found one such place recently, while out scouting for good photo shoot locations. A large old warehouse, on the edge of the river, derelict and overgrown, caught my eye, so I went to investigate. Pushing through a broken wire fence, and past several laburnum trees, I came upon the most fantastic gallery of graffiti work that I have ever seen. Not at all visible from the road, totally private. There was a small courtyard and road to some buildings at the back, facing onto the river, so camera in hand, I followed the path through the buildings, and was presented with at least ten full size mural graffiti designs, along with many other tags and smaller drawings, all multicoloured and meticulously laid out.

I took as many shots as I could, although I must admit to feeling rather worried that someone would catch me, and not want me to take pictures of their fantastic work for nothing. Luckily, no one was about, so I continued to snoop around, and took a look inside one of the big rooms. Naturally all the glass in the windows was either filthy or broken, and there was no electricity, so the light was dim and the smell was dank. Rubbish and spray cans were strewn about everywhere, but all along the walls, on every surface in fact, were more designs and names, pictures, logos and faces, cars and motorbikes, even a train. I really wanted to walk through the rooms, but was too scared someone might be in there, so I crept back outside.
Here in London, it's quite common to see tube trains 'tagged' with impressive designs, the sort that run across the doors, and carry on down the side of the carriage, but they are usually unceremoniously cleaned off, leaving unsightly large inky smears, making the trains look really dirty and ugly. i cant understand why people do that. Why not have the brilliant designs made by the local residents, that they love to see? We all have a right to some say in our environment, and these young artists are saying more about what they want from their environment than virtually any other social group.
Banksy at the Tate Modern.... [Banksy is a very well known British graffiti artist, who lives in hiding, and whose identity is unknown. There are currently several warrants out for his arrest.]
If you read the papers, youll know that Banksy recently managed to sneak one of his works into the Tate Modern. Apparently he dressed up as an old person, and stuck one of his canvases onto the wall of one of the galleries, using masking tape I think. It was only after a couple of hours, when the tape holding the canvas gave way, and the painting fell down, that anyone noticed..........


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