I hate graffiti. Those scrawls that you find on trains, bridges, alleyways and even park benches. They remind me of what I used to do when I as five. Random squiggles which mean nothing to anyone. At least I used to limit my squiggles to colouring books but these on the other hand serve only to deface.
But then over the years, things began to change. One dimensional black paint was being overtaken by splashes of colour. Tags were replaced with increasingly thoughtful counter culture pieces. Simple stick figures fleshed out into huge expansive murals. In short, graffiti was growing up. It was blossoming into a new form.
At the same time, I could no longer feel disgusted. On the contrary, I felt drawn to this art form. It was big, bold and imaginative. It was expressive and followed no rules. And before I knew it, I found that I started admiring it and liking it.
Today, I appreciate and enjoy street art. Wherever I go, I am tuned to seeing what’s there. Some are fantastic but some are just plain vanilla. But that’s the case with all art. You know when you like what you see. It resonates with you.
But unlike art we see in museums. Street art can be transient. They are not there forever. Recently I saw an amazing piece on the internet and decided to check it out myself. When I finally found some time to get there, it was gone! It had been replaced by another piece which I did not like as much.
So, I learnt my lesson. Dont’t wait. Don’t procastinate. And bring my camera phone handy. If something catches my eye . . . stop. Because it might just be gone forever come the next day.