Friday, September 13, 2013

Graffiti in Granada

Maybe I haven't mentioned that I was in Spain for a year. A few years back I lived (and studied on the side) in the south of Andalucia. I love Granada and it will always have a piece of my heart (after all, it's where my travel bug was born!). One beautiful thing that changed my perspective (aside from the amazing Alhambra, flamenco, and tapas - oh how I miss those!)was the graffiti.

Many of these pieces weren't just graffiti tags (some were), but skillfully created murals which take time, skill, and passion.

I fell in love with the possibilities of creating a positive use of public space, how dimensions can be transformed...

A local bakery's mural art

I fell in love with the messages and meanings behind the paint, the interactions between the artists...

I fell in love with how the colors play with each other, the visual stimulation, and pure creativity...

I fell in love with the distinctive details and styles of the artists...

And I fell in love with the feelings and emotions that can be evoked.

I see graffiti art as an artistic expression written around the city for the world to admire, question, imagine, challenge, etc. What I really love about it, is what it is not - graffiti is not intended to advertise or gain your approval. It's art that everyone can enjoy and it doesn't cost a thing (aside from it's creation)!

Graffiti was such a huge, new discovery for me when I lived in Spain. It took on a new meaning for me - it's definition was no longer strictly related to gangs or negative parts of society. I saw it's artistic possibility and it was so exciting! But one thing that really bothered me was that this art form was so limited in the US. 

In the past few years, I've seen more and learned more (I even wrote a senior thesis on the subject). As least in large cities, I have seen more artists employed for these types of works (ie. ArtStart in Santa Rosa). Not long ago a friend began a campaign that's directly related to the idea of getting more positive art out in the public realm - what a beautiful thing to see! 
{you can check out what it's about here and donate if you're inspired}

In any capacity, I feel it's so important for people who are in society to express things they want to publicly, not only corporations and advertisers. 

Is street art common where you live? What kind of affect do you think it has?

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