This article will feature photographs taken earlier this year, and focus on a form of urban art known as graffiti. I discovered this location while out travelling some local trails.
**Please note, that certain areas can be dangerous and one should not travel there alone, or if the area is private property, then permission or supervision may be required. These photos were taken during the day and while in company of friends.**
Graffiti are writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted on a wall or other surface, and range from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Spray paint and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials in modern times. A whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles; it is a rapidly developing art form with many different types and styles.
Graffiti can be used to express underlying social and political messages, or to mark territory of gang-related activities, which is why they are often in plain view of the public. Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials, law enforcement, and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner's permission is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.
Which brings me to the first aspect of graffiti: location. The graffiti in the photos below were taken just off a bike path that passed under a bridge. The bridge itself is a simple urban location, but in these images, you can see how simply adding graffiti completely changes the atmosphere. Keep this in mind when adding this detail in a setting.
Then we take a look at the graffiti itself. There are virtually hundreds of different styles when it comes to this form of street art; from abstract to photorealistic, from serious to satire. The images below show a lot of abstract art, but is mainly tagging, which is the act of writing one’s pseudonym or ‘’key word’’ used only by the artists, or in some cases, the artists affiliates (i.e. gangs).
Besides their political aspect, graffiti can be inspiration for writing as well. They can the perfect detail in a setting for a variety of stories. Perhaps you are writing an urban fiction (a.k.a. Street lit) that contains a street gang tagging their territory, or graffiti could be a background detail at a murder scene in a mystery, or maybe you could write a story about a troubled youth that expresses themselves through art. Graffiti can be very versatile in writing, and can been used in many different genres.
Hope you enjoyed today’s exploration. I had a great time, and maybe these images will come in handy for your next story. Remember to always exercise caution while exploring.
Now get out there and get inspired!