Something To Say.

If this spot looks familiar it’s because it’s been featured here before. It’s a fast food place that’s been defunct for over a year now which I’m kind of sad about because the place is so close to where I work and it was inexpensive and it wasn’t bad as far as fast food goes. And fast food goes pretty far because no matter where you go you can find it and the way you feel after eating it seems to last forever, but that’s another story.

And it’s been one of my favorite spots for graffiti because it’s so close and it once sported some very dramatic and colorful graffiti, then that got painted over, and, while it’s less dramatic, it looks like some new artists have reclaimed the spot.

I like the building too. Fast food places have been coming up with creative ways to draw our eyes ever since the first golden arches went up, and the use of a strong black-and-white checkerboard pattern is very distinctive. The expanses of flat empty space also provide a good canvas, which may be why this spot has been so popular.

Since I started spotting graffiti I’ve noticed an interesting thing. Taggers don’t cover up each other’s works. They don’t cover up murals that adorn some buildings in the area. And they don’t tag buildings that are in use.

There could be a lot of reasons for that. Maybe it’s a stretch to say that taggers respect property—I know some would disagree, but they’re only treating empty, unused buildings as canvases. They have something to say and they won’t be silenced but they’re selective about where they say it.

9 Comments

  1. Gilly Maddison

    Never heard that Kinks track before – great track. Another interesting glimpse at your changing scenery.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Arthur, the Kinks album that track is from, is one of their best. And the changing scenery is interesting. It’s nice, I think, to see some changes around the neighborhood. All the buildings and roads are pretty static, unlike a natural area, so I like the occasional changes.

      Reply
  2. Kristine @MumRevised

    I like beautiful graffiti, but not a fan of just tagging. We have a bylaw in Toronto that requires the shop owners to remove graffiti, at their own expense, within 72 hours or the city will remove it for them and charge them. So, it makes me sad seeing shop owners out with their spray bottles and scrubbers.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m not a fan of the random tagging either, especially the stuff that looks like it’s just a random scribble. And it seems like a shame to require shop owners to remove graffiti but I guess it’s easier than getting the perpetrators.

      Reply
  3. Chuck Baudelaire

    When I’m stopped by a train at a railroad crossing, I love to look at the graffiti painted on the cars as they roll by. I also live a couple of blocks from a switchyard, so sometimes I get to take a close-up look. Some of these taggers are amazing artists.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      If you ever get a chance to take a picture of some of that graffiti on railroad cars I’d love to see it. Some of the graffiti really is spectacularly beautiful. It was painted over before I could photograph it but under an overpass I went by several times there used to be a large mural of orchids. It was amazing but apparently illegal which is why it was just painted over.

      Reply
    2. Mrs Fancy-Pants

      I’d love to see graffiti on Sydney trains as something people were permitted to do, as the art would be ever changing and hey, it’s a train. I didn’t realize how determined graffiti artists were when it came to Sydney trains, though. Dangerously so – my friend’s husband was a train driver, and one of their hazards to deal with were people doing things like lying on train tracks so the train would have to stop, so their friends could quickly start spraying. She was worried about him working at night because the drivers themselves are targets because they all have keys to the areas the trains are parked when not in use and one of the drivers had been bashed and his keys stolen.

      Reply
  4. M. Firpi

    Today I saw how graffiti can do real harm. I saw how some ornamental shrubs were spray-painted, and some of them had died too. Apparently the graffiti was aimed at a generator of some sort near the shrubs because it had several autographs spray-painted on it. I thought about sending you a picture but it was a really depressing sight.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That is a terrible shame. Sloppy application of paint, whether it’s graffiti or not, can be damaging to all sorts of plants. It sounds a little silly to say that sort of thing also gives graffiti a bad name but it certainly doesn’t help.

      Reply

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