The connection between communication and graffiti effects us directly and is an immediate reaction from the creator. Documentaries such as Banksy Does New York is a perfect example of how artists are using the street to communicate. The documentary is a clear reflection of how this type of art is making a commentary on the world today. Guiding eyes and thoughts towards the issues of today. Graffiti is a form of silent communication. These images and words become a time capsule to our history often disappearing and ever emerging.
Another documentary “Which Way is the Front Line From Here” is about the life of photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington. Little did I know that this particular film would shed light on war graffiti. Hetherington saying that the images were “often more horrific that the war itself.” The images were created in war, in conflict zones. A harsh reflection often into the only world the illustrator knows. Hetherington a seasoned photojournalist whom died in Libya was deeply affected by what he saw. As I watched the documentary it confirmed my thoughts on Graffiti and the environment. How we have the need to release what we feel inside. Street art gives us that release, that immediate freedom of expression. It was such an integral part of how he was effected by what he saw.
“The childlike scrawls of rape, violence and intimidation are pretty grim, but it all gets out of hand when you see the cupboard with “room of pain” etched on it.”
After the bombings in Paris the street art community called on artists to help the city heal. The phrase used was “Spray for Paris,” asking graffiti artists to “Pray for Paris,” Again graffiti whether words or images at any level level coming together to help.
“Street art in Paris has long been directly tied to public issues and politics.”
Our streets a direct and immediate reaction/reflection of what society is dealing with. People choosing to communicate through the streets as it is an immediate gut reaction to what they feeling. Sometimes crude and at times sophisticated always communicative. As I shot these photos and contemplated my project I decided to do the series in black & white. Choosing black & white for its sense of direct communication, bringing it down to the elemental aspect of each piece. Both the imagery and words convey emotions in street art. Graffiti forces us to take notice of issues that are effecting us. That visceral gut reaction that is felt at the moment.
We are all dealing with the same hurts, loves, issues around the globe and all we really want is to be loved, acknowledged and find peace. Graffiti is a direct reflection of the global loves and stresses.