Shrooms Graffiti in the Bay Area
Image VIA Endless Canvas
People have different opinions on Graffiti in public space. Arguments against it often focus on the blighting aspects, its lack of aesthetics, and its relation to crime or gang activity. I understand the concerns regarding scrawl that is haphazardly placed by heavy bombing and a lack of attention to other peoples experience of their public environment, but unlike most people I see this problem as a symptom of a need, rather than an interest in wanton destruction. The need I speak of is the public's obvious desire to use public space as both a canvas for artwork as well as a venue for public communication. There is a basic need to visually interact with the spaces you live in, evidenced by a history of artistic public practices that includes graffiti. When those actions are criminalized and spaces are overrun by private communications, a competition arises between public and private forces. This Shroom piece is evidence of this battle and I am always excited to see graffiti taking on these politics instead of simply bombing every street corner.