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Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Photo Shoot Out: Graffiti

This week's My Town Shootout theme is graffiti.
Where the tramway makes a long cut to go up a hill to the university campus, the concrete retaining walls are a favorite canvas for local artists.

To limit graffiti on trains (always a favorite target), they've made the train colorful. Not only does spray paint not stick as well, but even if it does, it's less noticable. And thus less rewarding for the tagger. If people can't see your work from blocks away, it's not worth doing.
Still, rail yards and underpasses are favorite places for graffiti. This building shows signs of being painted over regularly, but it remains a large blank page just begging for new decoration.

Although in certain spots graffiti seems to be tolerated, the city has a fairly aggressive campain of cleaning and overpainting that removes graffiti and keeps our town clean-looking. The other anti-graffiti strategy is to cover vulnerable buildings, like this closed (for the day) kids' center at a public housing project, with art from the community. The residents thus have a better sense of ownership and pride and are less likely to tag, but also tags are a lot less visible in the colorful chaos.
Click here to see the astounding graffiti on trains in a wrecking yard I discovered last year. And here for the Shootout links.
Have a good weekend!
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11 comments:

In the eye of the beholder said...

I loved the kid center, It's sad about the trains and dangerous to

daylily (Queenmothermamaw) said...

It is great to have a place where the painting is okay. I looked for some old trains, found one but still no graffiti. I have a message on my post today.
QMM

Bagman and Butler said...

Wonderful, colorful collection. I knew you would come through with some excellent shots.

NanU said...

To QMM: I would really like to comment on your post, but for some reason the comment link isn't working. It's wonderful to raise breast cancer awareness, and funds for fighting this terrible scourge. Know that I work every day doing what I can to figure out the genetic risks, and at getting people with exceptional risk into the special care they need, even when they're healthy.

kate said...

They've done something similar with graffiti-prone areas in my city - they're trying to have local artists come in and paint murals over the spray paint in the hopes that the taggers will have enough respect to leave it be and not spray over it. So far, it seems to be working :)

SOL said...

Interesting strategy, making the train a bright color. I enjoyed your shots.

Kerry said...

You reminded me that a few years ago I took a dozen 13-year olds out in back of the middle school to paint a giant mural over a storage container that was expected to be a target for graffiti. We painted a giant replica of Van Gogh's Starry Night. Nobody ever dared to touch it. Why didn't I think to go and snap a picture?

~JarieLyn~ said...

Tagging is a disgrace, however, some graffiti is definitely artful. I like the children's center. It's very colorful. I like the blue train too.

Jama said...

Some of the graffiti are like a piece of art but I hate to see the train being vandalize like that!

GingerV said...

I have noticed more and more ART grafitti in rio. It is even signed and miracle of miracles no one seems to put the black paint nondiscript writing over the colorful, I wonder about the psychology of that.

Pauline said...

Terrific post, Nan. I agree with Mark - you nailed the topic.