First, let me say that I love graffiti. I think that the only sane thing to do with giant walls is to turn them into giant canvases. I think that when you consider that people pay to have murals on their walls and to have graffiti washed off their walls, it seems more and more like a censorship campaign meant to whitewash urban culture.
But why do you scribble on the bottom of cafe toilet lids with magic marker? What is the purpose of an illegible graffito in a bathroom? Why would anyone go into a bathroom, notice dozens of scribbles on the walls and fixtures and think, “Gee! What would be really great is to make this lavatory just a little more divey!”
Graffiti, when properly executed, is symbolic anarchy, freedom, courage, and a love of art above all including the law. If you paint your own wall, you’re an artist. If you break the law to make art, you’re sticking your neck out in the name of art. But as with all symbolic gestures of defiance against the law, they only work then you might get caught. If you vandalize a bathroom, then you have found the one place where it is nearly impossible to get caught and decided to jot something down with no message, no skill, and no value. It’s cowardly and pathetic. You’re just making the world an uglier, dirtier place so that you can feel like a bad-ass without the risk of consequences. Please stop.
So to all the graffiti artists making social, political, and artistic statements by intentionally breaking the law with visible and artful graffiti:, keep up the good work. The world needs to learn that graffiti is an art form and that public walls are ideal canvases.
And to all the graffiti a-holes who scribble on toilets: grow up. You don’t get bad-ass points for breaking the law if there’s no chance of getting caught. You’re just making everyone else’s BMs less comfortable.