Monday, September 29, 2008

A question of Art

side view of the gum wall
graffiti alley Ann Arbor Michigan
photo by Jafabrit
Featured on Web Urbanist

The Ann Arbor Chronicle did a story called "you say graffiti, we say ..." and they ask about the grafffiti in the alley, "Is it art?"
Sort of hard to justify gum stuck on a wall as being art lol! but if its used as tool to create a visual display, then why wouldn't it be? My feeling is the same for the rest of the alley, as Mary Morgan stated in the article "It isn’t so much each individual tag or image, but the cumulative layers of color and words and shapes that create this urban landscape." Sort of like looking at a huge abstract painting that is a mad cacophony of delightful shapes and colours to explore.

Wow, check out these gum art walls in Seattle, California and Ohio on CrookedBrains Blog.
But to see how gum is used in the traditional sense, take a peek at Jason Kronenwald work.
History of Graffiti. and the definition of Graffiti (thanks for the link MadSilence)


MadSilence said...

I'm keen to learn the symbolism behind "spuggy."

As for graffiti, what characterizes this artistic expression is its freedom and creative potential. No rules apply. Infinite creative potential. And creativity is good, as are other artistic elements: aesthetic quality & the formal elements of an artwork.

When I look at the gum I think of those wooden desks in elementary school...yuk!

See this discussion of outsider art, where the outsider is drawn into the artistic establishment:

Worlds Colliding: Bringing the outsider artists in

As always a pleasure to visit. MadSilence

JafaBrit's Art said...

"As for graffiti, what characterizes this artistic expression is its freedom and creative potential."

I feel that way with all the art I do, whether it is in the studio, or outside. I don't feel limits, but perhaps that is because as you say graffiti is unconditional and I have learned from that aspect of it.

spuggy is my family nickname and is northern english slang for sparrow.

thanks for the link will check it out.

Lana Gramlich said...

Thanks for this post. I kind of balances out my own prejudices about graffiti.

Marian Fortunati said...

For some reason your blog reminds me about the Simon and Garfunkle song about Graffiti. That probably ages me, but I occassionally listen to their "Old Friends" CD when I'm painting.
Listen and let us know what you think.
An artist I was recently introduced to named Van Saro does "beautiful" paintings that always have a graffiti theme. I admire the skill... probably not so much the subject matter but he is a fabulous artist!
Be well.

d.edlen said...

I think that graffiti which has the intent of claiming territory, like gang tags is negative. Negative in the sense that it is about exclusion, control, and fear. When the intent is to create collaboration, then it's about inclusion, community, and mutual appreciation.

There is a place for both in society, as art reflects and informs society and we have both community and conflict.

I just don't like seeing conflict without effective potential for resolution and understanding.


andrea said...

The photos of Graffiti Alley are definitely art to me!

JafaBrit's Art said...

Thanks Lana, Andrea, and thanks for dropping by marian, and d.edlen.
I had a look at Van Saro's work and well, wow! I mean it is just amazing, the scale of it and the work itself. I agree marian, I admire the skill greatly. I like your points edlen and especially when you said,"I just don't like seeing conflict without effective potential for resolution and understanding." I think it a shame when people are quick to dismiss graffiti and don't take the time to understand the why and the cultural social aspect of why it exists in the first place. Sometimes it is making a statement about society that needs to be addressed.

I have had several people say that to me Andrea and I am pleased that my photography has improved to a point that it could be viewed as art in itself.