Culture

Talking Walls: Graffiti in Hamilton

By Jonathan Lambert
Published October 20, 2011

Graffiti is reappearing in the news, with plans calling for arrests and "double-cleaning", or cleaning up both the graffiti and the graffiti artist (Grassiis). We can also discuss graffiti as social practice and "means of resisting particular constellations of legal, political, and religious authority" (Ferrell, 1995).

These positions appear related in that they label graffiti in terms of breaking rules and standards. At the same time, "while by definition because [graffiti] are 'deviant' they do not conform to the standard norm, they may nevertheless conform to some norm" (Sebba, 2008).

An investigation into graffiti in Hamilton, Ontario reveals themes of the fragmentation and unification of identity.

At the top of the James Street stairs, Sept. 2011
At the top of the James Street stairs, Sept. 2011
At the top of the James Street stairs, Sept. 2011

Surveying the streets, walls, bridges and alleys of Hamilton offers a mixed display of graffiti work. There are a variety "throw ups" and "piecings", in addition to especially wide spread "tagging" (when a graffiti artist writes his/her name in an elaborate, encoded design). What are the commonalities among tags? What are the unsaid, unwritten rules? Why are these norms pursued? What purposes do these 'deviant' standards fulfill?

In the RBG Hendrie Valley near the Grindstone Marshes, Oct. 2011
In the RBG Hendrie Valley near the Grindstone Marshes, Oct. 2011

One commonality which is immediately apparent among tags is the creative solidification of regularly independent, separate letters of the name into one unified whole. Each tag appears as one togetherness.

In other words, a tagger ignores the common practice in English writing of dividing a name into distinct, individual letters. In doing so s/he resists the division of self while creating a unified identity.

As Clair and Rodriguez suggest, "graffitists use graffiti to establish identity" (1999), and tags use the writers' names, which are particularly strong markers of self. We can see expressions of unified identity as the letters are consistently mashed together.

For example, on the right hand side of the blue and yellow tag in the picture above, there appears to be an interconnected 't' and 's'. While our lives are divided in various ways between multiple roles and responsibilities, each individual plays out a variety of parts, whether these be student, teacher, friend, brother, sister, son, daughter, mother, father, etc.

In a single piece of tag graffiti, the artist unites these often conflicting, fragmented parts of self while connecting and overlapping the letters in his/her name. As such, this activity in tagging represents and reflects the creative solidification of a unified identity.

Meanwhile, the opposing procedure is underway. In general, most tags use a variety of colours and shades to deploy their meanings. As evidenced in the photos above and below, three to five different colours are often used in a single tag.

Why do taggers invest the time and finances, in addition to increasing risks of getting caught and punished, to make the names more colourful? Because the names belong to creative, complex beings resisting the simplification and reduction of self to any one colour or definition.

The diverse colours of each tag represent the diverse identities, control and power of each artist. Put another way, the paint is used to "separate as much as it unites" (Cygan 2010), and while developing unified self through the interconnectedness of usually distinct letters, the graffiti artist is simultaneously celebrating a multifaceted, multicoloured identity.

In the RBG Hendrie Valley near the Grindstone Marshes, Oct. 2011
In the RBG Hendrie Valley near the Grindstone Marshes, Oct. 2011

Jonathan Lambert is a returnee to Hamilton, Ontario. In between studies at the University of Toronto and stellar pick-up soccer, he enjoys taking in Monday night Hamilton Red Wing home games.

47 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted October 20, 2011 at 14:28:19

What can one say? Sure there is artisitic merit and a statement, but the tags are a blight on the community. It's gut wrenching to see people taking pride in their homes, their businesses, and their neighbourhood only find someone else felt complelled to leave their mark. Even better is the city offers a reporting mechanism from which a resident receives a terse email telling them they are resposnible for the clean up.

Comment edited by GrapeApe on 2011-10-20 14:28:46

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted October 20, 2011 at 14:41:46

To me, tagging is merely a sign of the times. It is a regrettably selfish, uninspired cry for attention and change. It's taking, granted dull and lacking wall-space and replacing it with an arrogant proclamation of "Look what I did boring society! Har Har, you can't stop me, you don't even really know who I am." Sadly it does nothing to actually liven the grey space that was once present as there is barely any uniqueness. It all either lame and poorly scrawled notes or cliche over inflated lettering.

I don't have a problem with graffiti if it's done right, but sadly it rarely is. Scrawled notes of "Ed was here" isn't art, it's lame pathetic idiocy, and sadly this makes up the overwhelming majority of graffiti. The more complicated tags, I would call art but have become cliched to the point where it has the artistic appeal of polka dotted wallpaper.

The few examples of worthwhile wall art such as the back of the Hamilton Builder's supply (although once again suffers from the cliche inflated lettering), the mural of the Fergusson train derailment or the housing murals along James St next to the GO station. Sadly, I believe these examples were commissioned, so I don't believe qualify as Graffiti, but they at least provoke emotional and intellectual response.

Actually imagery, of something related to the area or something worthwhile, which maybe a small tag in the corner if you want credit is something I could get behind. In the City of Waterfalls, Tigertown, Steeltown, The Hammer and the home of the bulldogs, the warplane heritage museum and the historic location of the battle of Stoney Creek the best these "So called artists" can offer is "I love u bunny" and selfish overinflated lettering. If you are going to do graffiti, be selfless and innovative not just another regurgitated tagger. If you are one of those few, you have my unwavering support because there is a lot of lame grey in our city.

However, if you're ability to express yourself is limited to scrawling some letters, even if it is in a somewhat difficult to draw font, do us all of a favor and don't bother. That's just my two cents.

Permalink | Context

By anms (anonymous) | Posted April 14, 2015 at 18:15:09 in reply to Comment 70713

...... Nun to say but go educate yourself about this stuff

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Borrelli (registered) | Posted October 20, 2011 at 14:49:19

Interesting piece, but I'd still be happier if I never had to see another "Keenur" tag along the Lakeshore West train line. There's a nary a square inch that he hasn't appropriated as his own, from Toronto to Hamilton.

Keenur

Permalink | Context

By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted October 20, 2011 at 15:05:49 in reply to Comment 70714

This is the kind of scrawled note crap that I hate and refer to. This is the kind of guy I'd like them to catch and throw the book at.

Permalink | Context

By Ancopa (registered) | Posted October 20, 2011 at 17:03:35 in reply to Comment 70715

He has been caught, numerous times:

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

But it doesn't seem to stop him...

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By RB (registered) | Posted October 20, 2011 at 15:35:24

I find it hard to believe that any business would want to relocate to an area that is covered in graffiti, no matter how "good" it is.

Graffiti Complaint Form: http://www.hamilton.ca/ProjectsInitiativ...

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Jonathan Lambert (anonymous) | Posted October 20, 2011 at 16:56:09

Thanks for sharing the feedback about these details. Responses are very interesting.

Meanwhile, I feel I should make it clear that I do not participate in graffiti or tagging and I do not support vandalism. In the article I am only trying to approach understandings of what graffiti is and who we are.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted October 20, 2011 at 17:36:36

I'm convinced that people such as Ke#n#r who participate in graffiti have a mental illness. Even the "artistic" ones must have something wrong in their head to have such little respect for other people to do such things. Anyone know where ke#n#r lives? Perhaps graffiti is one of those crimes where "an eye for an eye" applies?

Comment edited by SpaceMonkey on 2011-10-20 17:37:52

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted October 20, 2011 at 17:40:27

On second thought, maybe we should tag his forehead with a tattoo of his crimes?

Permalink | Context

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted October 20, 2011 at 19:55:30 in reply to Comment 70725

On second thought, maybe we should tag his forehead with a tattoo of his crimes?

I'm not going to go wishy-washy here and deny this is a solicitation for readers: years ago, I wrote a short screenplay about tagging. It's a small tale set in a small town. Anyone who's interested in reading it, drop me a line at mystoneycreek@gmail.com

Permalink | Context

By SpaceMonkee (anonymous) | Posted October 20, 2011 at 21:15:08 in reply to Comment 70727

Definitely not a solicitation. I don't actually think that would be a good idea. Just sort of pointing out how wrong it is to show so little respect for someone that they think they can write whatever, where ever.

Permalink | Context

By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted October 22, 2011 at 19:01:53 in reply to Comment 70731

Definitely not a solicitation.

Um... Actually, my comment was a solicitation. LOL And yes, the screenplay deals with 'how wrong it is to show so little respect for someone that they think they can write whatever, wherever'.

Permalink | Context

By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted October 24, 2011 at 23:15:43 in reply to Comment 70775

oops, sorry... totally misunderstood you. Obviously, I thought you were implying that I was suggesting readers take action based on the hypothetical question I posed.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By DanJelly (registered) | Posted October 20, 2011 at 20:28:47

There's a old saying: You don't s#*t in your own nest. Seems to me we should be doing a better job of making people feel like Hamilton is their nest and not their toilet. Graffiti, vandalism, littering, illegal dumping are just a symptom of a larger, underlying problem.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 21, 2011 at 02:13:18

Graffiti is going to happen. Even if every graf artist in Hamilton were arrested tomorrow, more would rise up. Nature abhors a vacuum, and artistically, large concrete structures like those pictured in the article are vacuums, not to mention ugly as sin. If arrests continued, those who replaced them would undoubtedly stick to faster techniques (like tagging) and take a lot less chances with beautiful murals like those pictured above.

Which "great world city", exactly, has less graffiti than Hamilton?

Permalink | Context

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 21, 2011 at 06:29:40 in reply to Comment 70737

I was in Manhattan earlier this month, and I was amazed at the drastic reduction in graffiti of all kinds since the last time I was there several years ago, and particularly since the 1980s and '90s. Everything looks cleaner and in better repair now: the streets, the building facades, especially the subways.

I think Dan Jelly has it right: graffiti is what happens when people feel alienated from their own environment, when they feel that their community serves someone else's needs but not theirs.

Permalink | Context

By Synxer (registered) | Posted October 21, 2011 at 10:23:10 in reply to Comment 70738

I've read a bit about the Broken Window theory and how it applied to NYC. Some people have the ability to see how a problem is solved without the trouble of evaluating the whole path to the solution. By that, I mean, it goes against most people's intuition that cleaning up a community does more for it than preventing the overflow (crime, vandalism, etc.)

It's interesting that much of NYC's problem was solved by doing what Hamilton has begun to do - take aim at the communities with Garbage Crawls and involvement initiatives.

Wikipedia: Broken windows theory

Comment edited by Synxer on 2011-10-21 10:23:25

Permalink | Context

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 21, 2011 at 10:30:47 in reply to Comment 70741

Ahh, the Rudy Giuliani "arrest everyone in sight" approach. Who needs human rights when you've got tidy public spaces, eh?

Permalink | Context

By Synxer (registered) | Posted October 21, 2011 at 10:41:12 in reply to Comment 70742

I don't have the material close to me, but if I remember correctly, Giuliani fought the Broken Window theory with rigor. It wasn't until success in other cities when he decided to use it as a message against crime. It was already being adopted successfully in other parts of NYC before Giuliani used it to drive his own message. I doubt Giuliani had much to do with the success of this theory.

Comment edited by Synxer on 2011-10-21 10:44:43

Permalink | Context

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 23, 2011 at 21:52:38 in reply to Comment 70743

Don't know where you're getting that, but Giuliani's name's always been pretty strongly associated with the Broken Windows theory/policy in just about everything I've ever read about it, just as (until 9/11) "broken windows" were two of the most common words associated with his mayoral reign. He may not have been the one to first write about it, or the first to implement the policies, but ya can't pretend he's not associated.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opi...

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Also (anonymous) | Posted October 21, 2011 at 14:44:20

http://csdt.rpi.edu/subcult/grafitti/culture/Graffiti_and_Hip_Hop.html

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Screen Name (anonymous) | Posted October 22, 2011 at 02:15:02

insult spam deleted

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-10-22 10:52:54

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By your father (anonymous) | Posted October 22, 2011 at 02:33:14

insult spam deleted

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-10-22 10:52:28

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By anonymous (anonymous) | Posted October 22, 2011 at 05:51:35

Let me start off by saying I am not looking for any childish, flaming responses to my comment, I am merely stating my opinion:

Speaking as someone who enjoys graffiti as an art form and a culture passionately, I can tell you that each writer has their own agenda. For some it is purely to vandalize, for many it is the rush, for others it is to "get up" (get their name known) and for some it is about expressing themselves artistically and getting their message out there. For many graffiti writers it is a combination of all these. I am not saying that graffiti is right or wrong, but it is like all other art forms in that it is interpreted differently by each viewer, and by the writer him/herself. Most writers follow an unwritten code that consists of a few flexible rules depending on the circumstance. These include: not writing on residential housing, not writing on cars, and not writing on churches or holy places. But again, not every graffiti writer follows this "code" and it is flexible. I also do not agree with the analysis of graffiti writers through their work in the article above. The common style of overlapping or attaching letters has nothing to do with "togetherness" it is about the speed of the piece and the commonly accepted style in the graffiti community. This style of overlapping "bubble letters" was derived from the "old school style", which is a major influence to modern day graffiti. Some graffiti artists work outside this norm in the community for a very effective contrast, causing the viewer to remember the piece. The many colors in throwies or throw ups (quick bubble letters) and actual pieces are often not even considered. This is due to the cost of paint its availability and its tendency to "racked" (stolen). When the colors are thought about, it is to make pieces pop and be seen by spectators, not usually is there any meaning to the colors aside from this. If you want to analyse graffiti writers as a whole through the way they write their tags, good luck. Each graffiti writer is an individual who most likely has put blood sweat and tears into developing their individual "handstyle" or "tag". Each writer with their own influences from past graffiti, present graffiti, all forms of art, the community they live in and the world abroad. Graffiti writers cannot be grouped as a whole, the variety of styles, methods and mediums they use is too broad. If you want accurate representations of writers, try analyzing graffiti from different parts of the globe, you will notice that this articles analysis of graffiti won't apply remotely. If you want to learn more about us, our culture, and our way of life, why not do some research into the history of graffiti and work your way up to modern graff? Who knows you might like what you learn and grow a new appreciation for the art form of the streets, the voice of the city.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By TnT (registered) | Posted October 22, 2011 at 10:49:42

The question I have us who is the judge? Who gets to play art critic?

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Postmodernism FTW (anonymous) | Posted October 22, 2011 at 10:54:37

Everyone can make art. All art is subjective. And all your wall are belong to us.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By PAPA (anonymous) | Posted October 22, 2011 at 12:22:16

you cant stop this this people wont stop doing what they want its just a matter of taking it when u want to stop coming on the internet to discuss this like you are some sort of concerned intellectuals of society who hold the answer to all the problems. you don't mind seeing an advertisement with a fat kid eating Mcdonalds or a naked chick with her camel toe in your face and when you were told that graffiti is bad since you are a child you look at it that way. Don't let the government treat you like dogs and run your city. the graffiti artists painting walls are here to take it back, to show you all that chaos exists and the world isn't always what it seems, if you wanna be blind and follow the herd keep doing what you are told and like what you are told to. Giuliani ruined New York if you wish that to happen here too go ahead and vote for another idiot like Rob Ford so he can defecate all over our city with his plain ass walls and fat man desires. And do ahead and delete this INSULT if you want to but remember you cant keep erasing it always. we will be back.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By POLICESUCK (anonymous) | Posted October 22, 2011 at 15:10:06

GO SPIN GO MOD!! AND GOOOOOO KEENUR F**K THE GOVERNMENT! THEY CAN KILL PEOPLE FOR THE EFF OF IT, REST IN PEACE TROY DAVIS, BUT WE CANT GRAFFITI A FREAKING BRIDGE WALL OR A TRAIN YET ALONE A DAMN SIDEWALK HAHAHA EFF U ALL F*CK THE NEWSPAPER FU*K THE MEDIA FU*K THE CITY OF HAMILTON!

Permalink | Context

By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted October 22, 2011 at 22:08:43 in reply to Comment 70773

Like I said earlier.. mental illness.

Permalink | Context

By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted October 23, 2011 at 11:52:50 in reply to Comment 70780

Please stop talking about vandalism or anti-social behavior as necessarily linked to mental illness-- you do a disservice to those who suffer from it, and contribute to their stigmatization.

Permalink | Context

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 23, 2011 at 21:41:12 in reply to Comment 70782

I'm with Michelle on this one. Just because you don't like or understand something doesn't make that a medical diagnosis.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By OUR EARTH (anonymous) | Posted October 22, 2011 at 21:50:32

If you dont accept graffiti you dont accept art period.. look at Picasso and many many many freaking artists ya they did it legally but think about our government, they cause problems in our world on a daily basis. Graffiti is just adding to it in a colorful way if you like it or not. DELETE this once again i dont care but to be honest the city of hamilton speaks for it self not just the damn city council. yet the council only seems to have the right and the privileges to do what they feel like doing, governments kill civil humans for protesting and speaking the truth, i so hope to god our world becomes a better place and accepts graffiti cause we allow nonsense on the television we let children watch jersey shore big brother grow up and realize graffiti is now a main source in ADVERTISING! even CHEVY uses graffiti in their ADDS one love to the graffiti writers across the world!

Permalink | Context

By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted October 24, 2011 at 21:34:37 in reply to Comment 70779

That's just it though, so much of Graffiti isn't art. The vast majority of it is cliche uninspiring text at best and filthy scrawl at worst.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By ... (anonymous) | Posted October 23, 2011 at 17:04:05

I hear that some people say "I dont hate graffiti but only if its done right and its rarely done right" Dont judge cause maybe the writer wants to do ugly stuff to piss you off or its you that dont know what "good graffiti" is.
We dont hear people complaining on all the public advertisement that hits our face hundreds of times a day.

Every graffiti writer has his own reasons for writing and the media just hears what old people or cops say about writers. Yet those old people or cops dont know nothing about graffiti,they get their information from some busted young 12year old vandal that has no experience and dont really have reasons for doing what he does.

Permalink | Context

By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted October 24, 2011 at 21:45:43 in reply to Comment 70785

I'll judge it however I want, like I'd judge any other piece of art. To me ugly scrawl is just that and tags are boring and uninspired and if that's the artist's intention to put piss people off or stoke his own ego, then he could at least have the common courtesy to draw on his own wall or buy his own billboard to put forward his negative crap. Sure Public advertisement is a blight, but at least they paid for the spot and went through proper bylaws to post it. Otherwise he's just intentionally stirring the pot, which is something I would expect from a 12 year old vandal.

Now I can understand if the intention was to put something beautiful, but and artist needs to be both innovative and understand the taste of audience and scrawl and tags which are the overwhelming norm in graffiti I see show neither.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2011-10-24 21:59:52

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By The Realist (anonymous) | Posted October 23, 2011 at 22:00:44

This post pretty much summed everything up perfectly! "By anonymous (anonymous)Posted October 22, 2011 at 05:51:35

Also as a enthusiast of graffiti culture I would like to add that people who write graffiti do not feel that "they can write on what ever they want" or that "they have have a mental illness".Many writers spend hundreds of days and days and days studying various letter forms and typography
to create some of the pieces of art you see around you, even ontop of that many people also spend time on deciding where to put there art. While it may seem like it to the general public that graffiti writers put there name everywhere and anywhere if you spent some time and actually paid attention to the names you would see that there are two different motives for graffiti writers. While it is impossible to segregate all of graffiti writers into specific groups, I feel explaining it to the general public in this way might give better insight to the things they see around them.
Quantity & Quality are the two motives that drive many writers and as anon said befor me, writers choose to do both in moderation.

At this point we all know that many people hate the tags and simple bubble letters but love the intricate murals & clever art. If you are not interested in graffiti and look for it then the only graff you will see in your daily routine are the tags on the mailboxes and the occasional
bubble letter here and there, this is what people that are interested in graffiti first see and what are driven to do. Typography takes many many years and hard work to properly grasp and can never be fully masterd, its an ever going learning experiance, Many people who write graffiti quit after a short while because they relize how hard and difficult it is to do (there horrible work is also left behind everywhere theyve painted), This is like the average person picking
up a paintbrush for the first time and trying to paint the mona lisa.... youre only gonna come out with some ugly wack shit. This is why you see so many tags,scribble and bombs(bubble letters, These are the people who are first interested in graffiti & want to participate and add to all the tags and bombs they see because thats what they first like about graffiti. They have no REAL knowledge of graffiti culture, they only knowledge that they know of is society's general view/hate
on graffiti, that is what drives them.They are doing to be "rebels and bad-asses" at this level... Its almost the equivilent to throwing eggs at cars or the drunk kid painting swear words or swasticas on your neightboors fence. This is where I think many people get there hate for alot of the graffiti they see. New graffiti writers dont know about quality, they only know about quantity and the message.

If a new graff writer has more curiostiy of his new found love then they will soon relize that alot of the work they did at the beggining was dumb, ugly & stupid and in some cases even go back and clean over there old stuff. This is the point where an artist wants QUALITY. This is where the actual artform begins and seperates graffiti from vandalism. You can only truly know how hard something is untill youve tried it, A man can never know the pain of giving birth, and an outsider will never understand why people paint graffiti.Every one has there own reason and depending on whats going on in there life that will be expressed by there art(graff). The actual people who paint graffiti arent the one painting there name on every single mailbox, there not painting that 666 on your church, there not the ones painting the front of your store. Yeah I will admit that some people who are dedicated to the artform will still tag a mailbox or possibly do a bubble letter but thats to give them the feeling of that they once had when they first discoverd graffiti, its the equivilent of the feelings you get when you watch a old movie, no matter how bad the effects are or how bad the acting is,
it still gives you the feelings when you first watched it!

True graffiti wrtiers are the ones that are spending the countless nights inside perfecting the art of typography, They are the ones covering up the offensive shit that the new graffiti writers and the vandals have put under bridges, they are the ones who are punished and hated for all the mistakes that many befor them have made. Why you ask? The love for the art! What other artist would risk there whole careear and life just to put there art for free for others to see.Graffiti writers who are dedicated are very aware of there reputtion some like to have a bad one and some like to keep good ones, this is based off where they paint, how much they paint, who they go over and the type of grafiiti they do (tags, bubble letters and murals)They make no money off what they so, Theres no corruption or greed, every one is equal, you cannot be judged, its a way for a person to completly be themself!

In conclusion I just wanna say that Graffiti is an artform that cannot be properly described because there is not one style, the art form is anything on a wall outside. Theres no strict rules of form and shape like in De Stijl or fancy flourishes of art deco, the only thing it all has in common is the typography. So if you want to say you hate graffit as an artform then your grouping a whole lot of diffrent art into one catagory, instead why dont you just take the time on reading the name and finding out whos vandalizing your shit because what there doing is a completly individual artform in itself.

The Realist.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Mr. (anonymous) | Posted October 23, 2011 at 22:11:37

The interconnected t and s in the blue and yellow tag above is actually a d so it spells mod

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted October 24, 2011 at 22:06:06

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By valour (registered) - website | Posted October 26, 2011 at 19:47:27

I hate to call you out, but this article totally misses the point. Good intentions, but way off.

I may have emptied a can or two in my younger years, but I was certainly not "uniting my fragmented parts of self".

I was painting cool shit on ugly ass walls to make people the next morning wonder how someone pulled it off. I was painting to put up a piece better than the ones I had done before. I painted to give people something new to see on their shitty daily commute. I was painting to get better, and to prove I was.

I couldn't build a park, pave a road or build a skyscraper. but I could paint. My contribution to the landscape.

And it made my mom damn proud to see a piece I did on her way to work.

I spent hundreds and hundreds of hours, at home drawing painting and planning. I didn't just grab a can and write fuck the pigs.

There was graffiti long before their were starbucks, office towers and Business casual. It is part of the urban landscape. If you don't like the tags get a can of paint and express yourself.

And thanks for the Banksy pic hammer, don't think I have seen that one before.

Permalink | Context

By Seerk1 (anonymous) | Posted October 27, 2011 at 21:07:53 in reply to Comment 70917

OMG i just read ur comment man & boy does it remind me of myself rite now..... jeez i love painting too man, i dont do shitty things like you said i freakin paint wildstyles on the Linc lol whats ur tag plz respond i've probably seen ur shit somewhere (if its not buffed!)

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By graffitti is a crime (anonymous) | Posted October 26, 2011 at 20:43:12

They weren't your walls. You were nothing better than the ones that wrote nasty ugly stuff. What you did was deface private property thus making yourself a criminal.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted October 27, 2011 at 02:41:18

As a side note, I would love the see the city commission artists to paint murals about Hamilton on the side of the Hunter St. GO station, or at the very least get some creeper vines to deal with the depressing grey mass of concrete. Heck, I wouldn't even mind seeing the side pedestrian entrances to the GO station get some ads on the wall in favor of the overwhelming grey.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By grafiiti is a crime (anonymous) | Posted October 27, 2011 at 06:50:16

I agree street art like murals is great when its done with the owners permission. I've seen entire towns dedicated to building murals. Thats not graffiti its art. By definition graffiti is not art but rather defacing

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Colors (anonymous) | Posted December 19, 2011 at 10:01:19

You all claim you know what art ISN'T... How?

I believe most of you are just complaining because you're jealous that young people are out enjoying themselves in a non-violent, and semi-constructive way while you're stuck with your 50 hour a week job making $10 an hour and coming home to an empty house every night to cry yourselves to sleep in a pool of vodka, anti-depressants, and worthlessness.

Most graffiti hurts NOBODY. 99% of it isn't even visible to the general public (i.e. under bridges or in tunnels, etc.) but you still feel the need to lump people like Keenur (who most graffiti artists hate with a passion) in with all of those who actually put some effort into what they do and who are trying to express themselves the only way they know how.

It's like saying "well I hate bad drivers so lets just get rid of cars and everyone can walk"...

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By chicken wing king (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2012 at 02:48:28

the graffiti that people are defending and the graffiti that people are complaining about are two different things. an im pretty shur the only people who understand that are the people defending it and the rest will never figure it out. its like, good son bad son same mother and no father.think about that...

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By hamiltonbulldog (registered) | Posted January 02, 2013 at 15:55:41

1.There is no truth in tagging, it solely for kicks. It something that can't be prevented.

2.This article is so annal. People need to stop psychoanalyze everything, there is no meaning it's just a bunch of punks who just want to paint something on the wall.

There is no meaning between the interconnection between the letters between the 't' and the 's'. Those letters could be abbreviations of STS or SIS. Abbreviations for their group of friends, their 'crew'. No, it was suppose to be a face.

  1. I personally have no issue, with graffiti. It gives me something to look at while I'm on the bus. Instead of making awkward eye contact with strangers. It gives Hamilton a sense of character.

4.Graffiti is different from taggin. Taggin is writing your name in a bathroom stall. Graffiti on a wall, is a piece. A piece is the right amount planning and the perfect contrast of color, font and mood. You can only find it when your looking for it, or accidentally.

Points are;

You can't prevent graffiti from happening, it always will.

And just because they scrawl something on a wall doesn't means that they are mentally ill. Most of the people are quite successful and some of them have gone to University. Some of them are police officers.

All the people that I've ever met are really nice normal people. And I like them for who they are not what they are.

Permalink | Context

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds