I've always thought graffiti and street art was really cool. Even as a kid, when my parents would always tell me the vandalism is vandalism even if its beautiful, I thought the spray painted murals and unreadable letters I'd see on train cars and under the overpass were super neat, and VERY badass.
My hometown of Colorado Springs didn't have much graffiti, and whenever spray paint would appear somewhere it was always quickly removed. It was mostly ugly too. My senior year someone spray painted the side of our school building and misspelled 'anarchy'. We also didn't have many murals, except a few downtown, and they would always flash by as we drove past on the highway. But in Grand Junction, the city where I go to college, there seems to be street art everywhere, both the legal and illegal kind.
Tons of businesses have very nice murals painted on the sides of them, obviously commissioned by the store owners. In the industrial district there's plenty of good old vandalism too, but even it has its own unique kind of charm. So one day, just as our city was starting to be shut down for the virus, my friend and I drove around to take picture of all the street art we could find, and there was a lot more than I ever expected.
There's just something about the alleyway aesthetic that gets me every time. I love tree lined, dirt alleyways behind houses, and graffiti and dumpster filled alleyways in-between buildings. They're oddly charming.
The other thing I love about street art is the chaotic absurdity of it. The bright colors and the crazy shapes and the unreadable letters. I love how its both trashy and classy at the same time. And even when its professionally done, and meant to be there, it has that rebellious charm to it. Like its not supposed to be there, even though it is.
One of the places we went to take pictures was underneath a bridge that went over the river. It was almost entirely covered in art. All the pieces were vastly different, with big clashing colors and all sorts of different shapes and characters. But they all worked together harmoniously, despite their bold differences.
I was considering calling this post "The City Speaks", because in driving around and taking pictures of all the spray paint, it felt like people hadn't put them there, but they were just part of the buildings themselves. They matched the scenery, and met the vibes of the areas and buildings they were painted on. That's what I think I've always loved about street art, is how it reflects the charm and character of the city and its buildings, and the people who painted them. Our city doesn't put a lot of effort into cleaning up its buildings, but I don't think that makes them look run down or trashy. Its a reflection of life, and people, and art. Its the voice of the city, of the buildings, and the people that inhabit them.
Portraying life through various forms of media. Everything from photography to watercolors, and doodles.