I recently came across a newspaper article in which narrow minded people with a snobbish mentality seemed to deny graffiti the quality of being considered as art. As a defender of artistic expression and having quite a good knowledge of urban culture, I would like to raise my voice today in order to defend graffiti as a full part of urban culture that goes along with rap music, Djing and break dancing.
If we consider art to be the products of human creativity, then we should be aware that graffiti totally fit into that category.
Not only are graffiti an original way of artistic expression, those drawings are also the voice of the youth in the ghetto.
Narrow minded people who often live in a comfortable bubble gum world would preferably like to deny ghetto youths their own way of expressing.
Let me tell you something: if you consider Picasso’s Guernica as a modern artistic expression and you praise it by any means, then you should also consider graffiti as pieces of art.
Very often, the fear of the unknown prevents many people from discovering masterpieces. If you are afraid of Chinese people, for instance, how are you supposed to discover the colorful buildings of China Town in their whole beauty?
It is not because artistic expression is different from what you are used to that it should necessarily be considered as crap. Be open minded towards the unknown, explore different cultures, learn how to appreciate the difference and the originality of a genuine style that represents a culture.
Hip hop culture might be a subculture. It is nevertheless the voice of numerous people from the underground. Try to understand instead of shutting the voice of several generations down.
People using their spray bombs won’t ask you for permission while creating their picture. Their art is present de facto and there is probably nothing you can do about it if you don’t like it. Those people don’t have the means to pay for gallery exposure, but they want to be the representatives of a voice our governments would prompt to shut down.
Don’t censor a beauty that is still unveiled in front of your eyes: open your mind and try to understand the voice of the oppressed and underprivileged. If you really make the effort to go into detail, you will be able to see the hidden beauty of a human heart’s cry.
Copyright2006 by Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved