I love good graffiti. Good graffiti has something to say and says it beautifully and creatively. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. One of my all time favorite tags is a simple sentence written in magic marker at an overlook of Yosemite Valley: Open your eyes to the world.
I’ve hit the good graffiti jackpot in Freiburg, Germany. Graffiti is legal here in certain areas and bridges and underpasses are intended as urban canvasses. Since the artists don’t have to sneak around they can take their time and create true masterpieces in spray paint.
Graffiti is considered vandalism in many cities in the US, but there’s still plenty of it. In the past few years, I’ve been photographing graffiti around the US and have amassed a pretty epic collection of street art.
Last time I was in San Francisco, my brother Paul took me to see a Banksy near City Lights Bookstore. Banksy is a British graffiti artist both famous and infamous for his distinctive and often subversive stencils left on city walls around the world. Original Banksy installations have made their way into major museums and are sold for hundreds of thousands, but many cities still have a policy of painting them over as soon as they’re found.
What is the beauty in a blank wall? In my opinion, this world needs all the art it can get…