Graffiti in a New Perspective | Teen Ink

Graffiti in a New Perspective

September 23, 2021
By jublum BRONZE, Mayfield Heights, Ohio
jublum BRONZE, Mayfield Heights, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

When I think of art, I think about colors, shapes, lines, and how to put all of those details together. Art can show how people are thinking, their opinions, their emotions, and their creativity. There can be many ways to show how you are feeling with art. Graffiti is one of them. Many people consider graffiti as illegal and damaging artifacts and buildings. However, there are two different sides of the story. Others believe that there is a beauty in vandalism and should not be seen as illegal.
For me, I think of the reasons and the whys behind the making of graffiti. Why did that one person write ‘We love you for you’ on that wall with paint? Why did that one person spray paint a huge, red X over that business poster? What was the reasoning and the feeling behind the beautiful morul on that big, brick wall I can see a mile away?
As I walk through the park, I see a tall tree with initials all over the trunk. I also see initials spray painted under bridges. I begin to wonder why they put their initials there? It could have been a happy moment they will always remember like a first date or a first kiss. Maybe something as simple as doing something everyone else does when they are in love. Did someone propose that day or night? It could be the thought of keeping their relationship permanent. If their initials are on the tree or underneath a bridge, they hope their relationship will last forever.
Happiness, joy, laughing, love. As I look at the mural in front of me, that is how I am feeling. But, I ponder on how the artist felt in the moment of painting the mural with blots of the bright colors. What did they just go through to put themselves there in that moment to paint with bright colors? Were they documenting something important in their life?
Many graffiti artists paint to show their side of an argument or to show their opinion in who they support, including LGBTQ or BLM. There is one particular graffiti piece in downtown Cleveland, Ohio and it is women with all different colors of skin coming together. There are many extraordinary and strong messages that could be taken out of this one piece of art.
But, on the other hand, there can always be sadness and anger behind opinions or moments. The darkness behind the light. Similarly to protests that turn violent and angry. The tears after the George Floyd death and the murals made for him. The sickening statement, ‘I Can’t Breathe’. That continues the Black Lives Matter protests with thousands of people using graffiti to show their emotions towards the deaths of a lot of lives that were taken.
Or the thoughts of someone not being loved or respected the way they want to be loved and respected. If no one cares about me, then no one cares about this tree or building so I will take it out on it. I think about what the person was going through during that moment. Was it out of sadness or anger?
Even the hatred behind a business or person. Marking their territory with a big, red X over a wall or the black spray paint over the businesses poster. Was it a social statement? A political move? Revenge for something in the past? Is that person trying to tell us something about that specific person or specific place?
As I drive by with the posters covered in paint with the big letters of hate and the big, red X again. It catches my eyes like a nail to a magnet. I begin to wonder if +that person wants to be heard. Do they want to make a point? And what is the point they are trying to get across?
Now, I am not an expert with art but art is an invitation. An invitation to think, to question, to delight, to humanize, to provide connections, multiple possibilities, and NOT having one answer. Art keeps the mystery alive and going. The many possibilities make the world like a mystery book or a never ending story. Therefore, art can keep the imagination alive and open in the world. And that’s really cool.

The author's comments:

My name is Julie Blum and I am a sophomore at the Mayfield High school. My piece is about graffiti and how I see then pieces of art.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.