In many cities, graffiti is associated with decay, with communities out of control, and so it is outlawed.
In some cities, it is legal, within limits, and valued as a form of social expression.
Paul is also working on an artistic/publishing project coming soon to a crowd-funding site near you!
At the celebrations for the new millennium, Sydney Harbour Bridge was lit up with the word “Eternity”—all because of graffiti chalked in yellow on the streets of Sydney by one lone graffitist.
Inks, inexpensive household paint, paint brushes, paper towels, makeup sponges, pieces of fabric, fingers—all are great blending tools that may be used to create larger-than-life tags, bubble letters, arrows, crowns, 3-D shapes in black and white and full colour, exclamation marks, boldly defined lines, and various other symbols of an enlarged, politicized, moral imagination and critical capacity.
This moral imagination and critical capacity challenges what may be viewed as a technically trained, warped, market-determined political agenda that feeds a market-driven docility.
There is a certain sense of ownership and belonging that may be gained from being able to place one’s ‘tag’, unsolicited or solicited, on a wall or on personal items in ways that force others to acknowledge and recognize your existence.
There may even be a greater sense of satisfaction in having ones graffiti viewed as an authentic art form through which it is possible to gain economic independence and “legitimacy”—an art form that allows for the demonstration of a unique sensibility and, according to one Zimbabwean artist who embraces the Jamaican Rastafari religion and language, an “overstanding” of their cultural reality.
However, as a rebellious act, a tool of resistance, and ammunition against corporate greed and political perversion, economic gain through independence and freedom of expression remains difficult for the graffiti artist to attain.
Founding convener of Urban Ecology Australia and a recognised ‘ecocity pioneer’, Paul and co-founders are pioneering the Ecocity Design Institute.