The other day I was going for a walk with two of my friends when I noticed a new stencil on the sidewalk. I habitually pulled out my android and took a picture. I made a bitter oath that I would tweet about it and that it would quickly be reblogged by a collector of Edmonton graffiti who goes by the name “foundmonton”.
My friend expressed her disapproval and stated that “sidewalks were not made for graffiti.” It is rare that I am able to talk about art with my friends and jumped at the opportunity to challenge her. “Exactly! What are sidewalks for? What is the purpose of this…or that?” I could sense that she regretted her comment and I continued to treed lightly. “I suppose that the ultimate question is “What is Art?…Why can’t our streets and walls stay clean and leave the art in a gallery?”” We went on to discuss “private verses public” art, as well as, the power galleries practice when they censor what is consumed by the public.
Twitter has been quite the tool for graffiti artists to get names out and making taggers famous. Not only have I seen an increasing trend with the publication of graffiti images here in Edmonton but also globally. Watching the evolution of graffitti artists such as drwik and bernie through bloggers such as foundmonton has been quite interesting. Graffiti artists need to keep their real identity a secret, but they are free to continually express their thoughts via twitter, tumblr, facebook and (of course) graffiti.
What interests me is the exchange of ideas and the global mentality that is created. Challenging the norm and what sidewalks are really made for.