Ciaran Watkins – Give Enough Vagrants Spraycans And Eventually They’ll Tag Something Meaningful

Posted on May 8, 2011 by


I’ve always been a fan of graffiti. Well, that is to say if you can actually be a ‘fan’ of sometimes meaningless crap on walls. In the best case scenario graffiti can stop and make a person think, just like any good message should be able to do. One of our strengths as human beings is language, and while these graffiti artists may not be published writers, their messages can still make people reflect on themselves and their own lives.

In the argument for and against the ‘art’ status of graffiti, I’ve always stood firmly on the side of ‘It’s an art form, so long as you’re not writing “Tom is a penis” on your mate’s wall’. I see it as a means of expression. It’s an outlet for the particular artist’s anger, frustration, aggression, or sometimes, it’s just a means to crack a witty joke.

A trend that I’ve been noticing recently in this post-Banksy time line, is that artists have moved on from imagery, and have rekindled their love of language. Sure, sometimes it sounds as if the statements were written by failed philosophy students, but other times I’m amazed at how much a scribble on a wall can effect my day. Here are a few examples of the good, the bad, and the down right hilarious that I’ve found on my travels through both real life, and the blogosphere.

I think the “Fight Apathy. Or Don’t” piece is my favourite of the lot. In the research for this entry I found two brilliant images of mimicked fonts as graffiti. This style is entirely new to me, and I suppose it was only a question of time before we began to see the design world’s favourite fonts be used in the real life as methods of expression.

It definitely makes the image and message stand out! I may try experimenting with that in the future.

I’m bringing you this entry because I stumbled on a piece of graffiti in the Northern Quarter that absolutely made my day. Showing my old uni friends around I stumbled upon it, and had to take a picture. In my eyes, it’s the written embodiment of the average Mancunian, and while it seems confrontational, only makes me relish the fact that this city is my home.

And while I know this one goes against everything I’ve said earlier about ‘graffiti as art’, I think it needed to see the light of day. An intelligent man’s wall post found in Didsbury. A great way to end my post on graffiti

Read more over at Whatever’s In There, Falls Out Here.

Posted in: Ciaran Watkins