This is a Google Maps shot of an apartment building on Hayes Street, a few blocks over from where I work. As you can see it’s from May 2016.
Here’s the same place now. There’s a lot of construction going on. They’re starting with the parking garage because that was probably easiest to tear down and next they’ll tear down the apartment building, probably so they can put up a much larger and more expensive apartment building with little or no room for parking because with all the new apartment buildings going up around the city parking spaces have always been an afterthought, but that’s another story.
And I was intrigued to see this:
It’s not the best or most interesting graffiti I’ve ever seen, but I wondered how long it’s been there. Was it hidden at the back of the parking garage back when people were still in residence or did someone put it there some time after the space was cleared?
Either way it filled an empty space and there’s been a flurry of new graffiti ever since the construction started.
The funny thing is as I was walking around the site I found a guy spray-painting a tarp covering one of the fences on the opposite side. He was covering up some graffiti.
“This is the third time they’ve sent me out here to paint over something,” he said.
I decided not to tell him I find the graffiti in the area interesting. I just said that at least it gave him something to do. He laughed.
“Yeah. Every time they put somethin’ up I get to come out here and cover it up.”
And every time he covers it up he creates an empty space for them to put up something new.
Thanks for filling the empty spaces, Chris.
Thank you for helping to fill in those spaces too.
Why do local authorities rush to get rid of graffiti? My 90 year old dad detests it and I just don’t get why. I don’t understand why artistic human expression must only be done within certain parameters. Busking on the street without a license is like the musical equivalent of graffiti. Why all the rules about expression and who makes them? More to the point, why do most of us bow to them. We can even get into trouble for painting OUR OWN HOUSES the wrong colour in the UK. Depending on where you live and the age of your property, there are rules about house colour and the National Trust has a list of colours that are ‘acceptable’. I am going to make it my mission today to find the pictures of graffiti I took in London because I think you will really like the work. Just wish I knew which hard drive of 11 they are on!!!!! I always love seeing the graffiti you share with us here.
I think the local authorities are afraid if they allow any graffiti it will spawn more and soon there will be chaos. And I sympathize with both sides. It’s wonderful that people want to express themselves but I can see why there need to be some limits. Sometimes I wish there were more “legitimate” opportunities for graffiti artists to express themselves.
The rules on painting your homes reminds me of the children’s book The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater. It’s a funny story of what happens when people decide to decorate their homes when they want. Spoiler alert: everyone’s much happier.