Good graffiti

Good graffiti
Good graffiti

Sometimes graffiti is worth looking at.

Often it’s nothing more than vandalism, but sometimes graffiti is actually good.

This is an example of some graffiti near the Costco in Montréal, and for about the last year, every time I passed it, I thought to myself, I should come back here and take some photos before something happens to prevent me.

So today, I finally did. I wanted to take the photos during the summer while it was still nice out, and I’m glad I didn’t keep forgetting about it.

The big picture
The big picture

This particular graffiti is good because of the use of vibrant colours, the cute characters, and the general overall effort that went into painting the side of that building.

It looks very attractive.

Also, I think that the fact that no one has painted over their graffiti helps.

There’s also a consistency of style across the entire wall that makes the whole composition work.

It’s just overall, a good piece of work.

Angry fish
Angry fish

I’m trying to pin down what it is that separates “good” graffiti from “bad.” I mean, the graffiti pictured to the left of this paragraph doesn’t have a lot of the qualities that the first example had.

It’s pretty much monochrome, and others have defaced it, but I like the angry fish.

I wish I could have seen it before it was painted over.

Maybe it’s that I like when graffiti has characters in it, rather than illegible words? I mean, I don’t understand what’s written in most graffiti, but when I see the angry fish, I understand, It’s an angry fish.

I have no clue what this says
I have no clue what this says

But there are some cases of incomprehensible writing that I like.

This one is also pretty good.

No idea what it says, and there’s no characters in it, but I still appreciate it.

By that I mean, if I owned a large building in a city, I don’t think I would be very upset if I came to work one morning and found something like this painted on it. (Assuming that the word, once deciphered, has a non-offensive meaning.)

I mean, it could be a lot worse. It could be spray-painted penises. There are enough of those in Montréal.

Come inside the door. We have candy.
Come inside the door. We have candy.

This graffiti is creepy. I think that’s why I like it.

Suspicious-looking bird
Suspicious-looking bird

So, so creepy. This graffiti also had a suspicious-looking bird on it.

I don’t blame the bird for being suspicious.

I’ve uploaded a few more photos to a Facebook album here. Check it out! :)

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The Grey Literature

This is the personal blog of Benjamin Gregory Carlisle PhD. Queer; Academic; Queer academic. "I'm the research fairy, here to make your academic problems disappear!"

One thought on “Good graffiti”

  1. I kinda like the angry fish graffiti upon closer inspection. Look at the use of the colours in the shading/shadowing. It’s kinda fantastic, the random details that may be add-ons and don’t initially seem to fit also make it cooler the longer you look at it. Maybe I could make a print of that somehow… also, if you like mural-graffiti as art in cities (to discourage random graffiti) you must visit Philadelphia. It’s the most muraled city in the USA, it’s pretty cool.

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