The Art of the Wall

In years past, teenagers snuck out at night with paint brushes and spray cans to create what was generally mediocre, if colorful, graffiti under bridges, on vacant buildings and sometimes the sides of churches and schools.

Without question the world of graffiti has changed.  The murals I see on my drives through urban Kansas City are often exquisite works of art that appear to have been the work of artists hired by business owners to create colorful displays on the exteriors of their buildings.  Even the texture of the bricks beneath the designs adds to the visual impact.  It is, in effect, graffiti “grown up”.

When I happen upon a particularly colorful design, I find I alter my route to and from work just to see the art over and over again.  I regret only that I am unable to identify the artist so I could praise them by name on this post.

At least I can honor these urban artists by sharing their creative designs with our friends.  In Kansas City, at least, art finds its form in these creative, incredibly colorful, urban designs.  Aren’t we lucky!

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A Splash of Color

This wonderful wildflower reminded me of the “poor little Buttercup” from the operetta, HMS Pinafore.  I took the photo in Northern California with my iPhone camera.  It was a surprise to me that it was able to clearly capture the detail of the center of the bloom and the foliage behind it, leaving the wonderful golden petals delicately blurred.  Smart iPhone.  Who knew?

Mother nature at her finest!

Writing on the wall–The “people’s art”.

Kansas City’s art is found indoors and outdoors.  It is found in museums, galleries and outdoor parks.  These works of art can be found hidden in plain sight, on the walls of abandoned buildings and warehouses, sometimes in back alleys where only the most adventurous will find them. These street murals are generally skillfully done, and are, while sometimes unwanted, a celebration of life and creativity. While the artists are generally unknown to the general community, the initials of the artists are often included, announcing their skills to those who are part of the inner circle of these artists.

Some of my favorite graffiti is what I like to call “writing on the wall” because that is exactly what it is.  If the writings are actually words, I haven’t deciphered them.  But that does not diminish the skill of the artists, whose creativity never ceases to amaze me.  Here are some of my favorites, found within blocks of downtown, Kansas City.

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I often wonder, when I find one of these writings, whether the creators are totally unschooled, have been to art classes or are just patient.

Sometimes I wonder where they buy the paint??  Is there a graffiti union?