International graffiti; a year measured in street art and messages

Wednesday, April 9th 2014

When you travel through urban areas you're going to see graffiti. Murals, writing, things defaced ((Or sometimes enhanced.)) It's kind of the original form of self-expression on some level. I don't see a huge difference, conceptually, between impromptu murals on the side of buildings and the stuff from Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Except a lot of time passing I suppose.

I went through 18 countries last year and some of the largest cities on earth ((São Paulo, Istanbul and Tokyo are all in the top-ten, I'm fairly certain, and represent a great cross-section of the variety of places I visited.)) and saw a lot of graffiti and mural art. I took a lot of pictures that I should probably round-up and put into a Flickr album or something one of these days. Some of them were quite wonderful and fun:








Some of more interesting things though were the messages. Sometimes political, sometimes whimsical, sometimes angry and sad. My favorites (translated into English, generally):

  • Save the kids. Stop and frisk.
  • Burn the capital; imprison the torturers
  • Dios es amor (god is love)
  • It is not a crime to be young
  • Money destroys culture & art
  • Please respect this tribute (Next to an elaborate mural with dates, presumably for a person that has passed)

Among the more interesting things I noticed were how the tons of the messages changed in some places. In South America we burn the capital, it's not a crime to be young, in Iceland money destroys art and in Paris we ask kindly not to deface tributes.