I watched some trains go by yesterday while driving and admired all the graffiti on the sides of it. I recall a conversation I once had with a graffiti artist about the significance of graffiti on trains and how it works as a network of movement for one's tag, or graffiti name. Trains travel vast distances, and the work of a graffiti artist in Chicago could easily end up on a train passing through the Halton Region.
I've fostered a newfound admiration for graffiti in the last six months. I use my train rides, seated against the window, to scan the sides of buildings and underpasses for all the graffiti art on my way home. It really does transform the city, it creates a raw urban environment. It's provocative, often making a statement or working as an act of rebellion. The colours and shapes are eye-catching, like an abstract piece of art. And the anonymity behind it is perhaps the most captivating part for anyone who is a respectful viewer.
i've written a bit more on graffiti, and the tension between it and monitored street art, for The Planning Clinic's blog. Follow below to have a read: