The Call of the Wall: Why Graffiti

As a kid, I had a hard time paying attention to anything that wasn’t personally relevant to me. This made it difficult to listen to teachers, especially when I could feel that they didn’t care about me and saw their work as nothing more than a job. When I had teachers who cared about me, my interests, and recognized my strengths, I did exceptionally well, but those school years were less frequent then the not so good years. I saw school as a microcosm of the real world, a place full of people who wanted to control and dominate each other. Creating art was my way of subverting this, and by the time I was in middle school, I was fully focused on graffiti. This was my rebel yell, a big middle finger to authority and all of the people who wanted to tell me how to live without knowing who I was or caring. Graffiti gave me purpose, direction, and helped me measure myself against my peers. From stealing paint to climbing train bridges, graffiti helped me to be daring, face my fears, and learn to navigate the world to get what I wanted out of it. While my peers were in school being conditioned, I was out getting a hands on education in the real world. Graffiti gave me an outlet, a voice, and put me into a meditative state where I could develop a strong understanding of my identity. This is the reason why graffiti was and is powerful to me.