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I won’t pretend to be an expert on a scene I know very little about, but that can’t stop me from appreciating it wholeheartedly. I’ve lived in several urban and suburban areas where street art wasn’t necessarily embraced. An inspiring message spraypainted in gold on the side of a building might one day tell me that “Cities have souls too, ya know,” only to be covered up with white splotch a few days later. But that’s just one of the appeals (at least for me): Street art, particularly graffiti, is fleeting, constantly changing. If you’re not paying attention to the writing on the walls, you’ll end up missing it completely. I grew up in a fancy-ish suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. I remember very little about the place because everything pretty much looked the same. The houses were uniform, the schools, grocery stores, hospitals and libraries were all indistinguishable. But I do recall one place that actually had some character. There was an underpass that always spoke to me. Sometimes it would simply state peoples’ names. I knew that Jimmy loved Kate 4-ever. Other times it would present a more philosophical or political message, Save US, Nuke Gingrich. But my favorite were always the pictures. Little cartoon characters, who were telling me their own subliminal messages. This was my introduction to street art. I was no older than eight. Needless to say, graffiti has always fascinated me. Reading the crassly-painted words and interpreting the detailed images makes me feel like I’m interacting with a group of writers and artists (not unlike myself) who have important messages to spread. When I write something, like this article for example, I intend for an audience to eventually read it. Who will read it, and when will they come across the piece? I have absolutely no way of knowing. Similarly, a street artist will make his or her mark, understanding that someone might see their work the very next day, or maybe a 21

Splat Art Magazine May/June 2011  

underground art magazine

Splat Art Magazine May/June 2011  

underground art magazine

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