Graffiti Documentary

Graffiti seems to have become a topic that polarises the community throughout the world. It is interesting to see the various interest groups and lobbies here in Melbourne and the same trends can be seen world-wide (see some links below) . You might find it interesting to read up on opinions at this blog:

www.coretv1.wordpress.com

There is also a questionnaire about that topic that is fun to answer. They are a new group of independent filmmakers working on a documentary on graffiti in Melbourne.

Personally, I must say that I have very mixed opinions on the topic. I live in a diverse city, Melbourne (by the way). We have our Jewish suburbs in the South and our Muslim community mostly in the Northern suburbs. There are various European groups, many Iraqis, Indians, Chinese, Malaysians, and various other East Asian groups. Basically we are a melting pot of diversity. Mostly the blend works and there is not a lot of negative tension. The diversity is generally very appealing from the culinary aspects through to the dating side of things. The world is here!

Well, back to graffiti. You find a very interesting mix of street art. There is a large amount of stencils, paste-ups and conventional graffiti in the CBD. There is also a fair of tagging happening there, but the tagging itself seems to dominate more in the outer suburbs, where the stencils become more rare.

Again, personally, I do not like tagging much at all. Graffiti artists often commence by tagging. That might be the case, but it does not make it more appealing. Many artists start somewhere, but the public generally gets spared to look at their first attempts. I find tagging very selfish and ugly. It annoys me.

Many vandals who are obsessed by their own tags hide behind a diverse and talented street art scene. I am not trying to say that only the best artists should be able to do street art, but there are to many selfish taggers out there imposing their ugly stuff on everyone. It also has a tendency to devalue an area. If you want to sell your house, you will get less for it if someone has placed graffiti or tags on it.

In many cases graffiti adds colour to an area and it can therefore add artisitc value. In very few cases it will add property value and that is only if a majority of people feels attracted to that location due to the graffiti.
In many cases graffiti destroys the vibe of an area and I believe that it is a clichee that graffiti always adds artistic value. For a starter it is hardly ever done in respect to the architecture. I doubt that the majority of taggers ever consider imagery and colour after picking the location.

There should be and will be a space for art in the streets of our urban centres regardless of laws. This will not change in the future. It seems to be a natural need to our species to express ourselves as well as marking our territory. One might say that there is a primitive notion in that, but it does not change the nature of it.

Your views comments are as always welcome!

Cheers,

Victor Biola

 

Another few interesting blogs/sites that I found on this topic:

Site on Southern Californian graffiti and street art, set up in support of book ‘Graffiti L.A., Street Styles and Art –  http://graffitila.com/

Site of Chicago activists (pro-graffiti) – http://www.counterproductiveindustries.com/gbgc/

Detailed website on global graffiti, intelligent write-ups, interesting vids and good imagery!!! – http://www.ilovegraffiti.com

See also: http://ilovegraffiti-en.blogspot.com/2008/10/more-debate-in-australia.html

YouTube site – send in your video opinion on graffiti – www.youtube.com/coretv1

Interesting post with good background knowledge – http://cuidado06.wordpress.com/2008/06/06/19/

Opinions –  http://subcorpus.wordpress.com/2007/04/26/is-graffiti-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder/

Irish voice on the topic – http://kirribilli.wordpress.com/2008/05/25/artvandalism/

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