Generally speaking, I loathe graffiti, in large part due to it being, nearly always, an act of vandalism, showing total disrespect to other people and their property. But almost as bad is the fact that most graffiti is -- to my way of thinking -- stupid, ugly, and lazy.
Yes, I know that there are a few examples of graffiti which is clever and well-executed, and on certain relatively rare occasions it is done with the permission of the property owners. But for the most part, to my eye, it is sloppy, rushed and without much aesthetic merit -- probably having at least something to do with its typically furtive and illegal nature.
I have, every so often, given some thought to starting a new blog called "SLUG" (for Stupid, Lazy, Ugly Graffiti), using examples I've found around our area. Even though Northampton is not a large urban town, there are still plenty of people here who think it's just fine to spray paint or use big permanent markers to deface things they don't own. For example, when a new stretch of the bicycle path between Northampton and Easthampton opened up last year, a nice-looking wooden fence was erected along certain parts of it so that homeowners abutting the bike path would have privacy in their back yards.
Within days, some jackasses had scrawled their ugly "tags" on the pristine wood of this brand-new fence.
But every so often, I encounter some graffiti which, while I wish it wasn't there, as it doesn't enhance the landscape at all, at least has SOME inherent wit or creativity. It's rare, but it does happen. I ran into an example of this last week while bicycling through the underpass of Jackson Street in Northampton. Here is is:
Someone had used a feature of the wall of this underpass, where -- for some reason -- a blocky texture had been pressed into a concrete patch, and this physical detail was employed as the teeth in a somewhat grotesque version of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle head. I thought this was kind of unusual, as I rarely see that kind of thought or use of context in typical graffiti. -- PL