Day 47: Street Art vs. Graffiti

by Jon February. 16, 2012 3068 views

Along the Spree in Kreuzberg

This is a piece of street art in an empty lot along the river. Saw lots of beautiful street art, that legally beautifies public space, and often brings some contemplation. This is pretty straightforward, but well done. Gold Watches can double as hand-cuffs.

This was contrasted with Graffiti, which is also painted along the urban landscape, but illegally so. Oftentimes people look upon graffiti with disdain, while it can be destructive and vulgar. I'm not going to deny graffiti's ability to do so, but I do want to propose a different way of looking at it, which occurred (more or less stated) to me on the tour.

Graffiti is nothing less than an attempt by people to take back their space. Using names of gangs and trademarks, the graffiti artists make an impression of themselves on the urban landscape. This is an impression that is not being made through any other venue, i.e. feeling powerless in shaping the places where one lives. Even attempts to better it.

Also includes a movement against constant advertisement, according to the tour guide, which is an idea that I haven't totally grappled with. We are bombarded with advertisement everywhere, but rather than something trying to push something on you it's an impression of a human being or simply a piece of art?


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