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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Write or Wrong?

Posted by Josie | June 13th, 2007 | Filed under Design, Personal Reflection

PDX Graffiti.JPGDays before an intoxicated twenty-something scribbled “Freedom” on the side of my car with spray paint, the topic of graffiti came up during an afternoon meeting. The conversation was about a piece of quintessential Portland graffiti art (see left), and at the time it seemed “hip” rather than thought provoking. I am more intrigued by graffiti art now, but I’m getting lost in where the boundaries lie between the visual art, the symbolism of the medium in which it is created, and the importance of who will see it before it’s destroyed.

The freedom and ability to express ourselves where someone will notice, appreciate and think about what we have to say is beautiful. I don’t believe the artist who decided to write “I’m Hungry” in the middle of my street after he decorated my car was really going though any personal struggle at that moment in time. The lack of effort he put into finding the right medium to provoke thought about his view on the world was disappointing to me, more so than the effort I put forth to clean it off of my Subaru. As I scrubbed my windows, it was clear that whatever message the artist was trying to send was completely lost in translation.

I understand and agree that every person will find their own ways of expressing themselves. Whether it’s though writing, painting, video or whatever floats your boat that day, the options are endless. Choosing the right medium is, some might say, more important than the message itself. The “freedom” we have to express ourselves however and wherever we want does not make our creations art. It’s not creative, and it’s not beautiful if people can’t appreciate the message and accept the medium.

I found out from the District Attorney, during my visit to the Oregon Grand Jury, that the “artists” were sorry they spray painted the car next to mine sporting a Grateful Dead sticker. Perhaps a friend of the devil is not a friend of mine after all.

6 Responses to “Write or Wrong?”

  • June 14, 2007 at 3:41 am | Brendan says

    I found you guys through my Worldchanging newsletter and am blown away by your company’s ethos and expression. Your website is also a wonder on many levels. Great job and congrats!

  • June 14, 2007 at 12:44 pm | zach says

    your car got vandalized. maybe you have a couple enemies out there in Potland? graffiti rules, and all writers know to not write on cars/houses/churches etc. So you basically got vandalized by the son of cousins, and I wouldnt get too deep about it.

  • June 14, 2007 at 4:09 pm | Josie says

    Zach,

    Enemeis? None that I know of. The 20 people who were vandalized in my neighborhood, myself included, aren’t taking it personally.

    I didn’t mean to imply that all writers don’t know what to write on. I’m pretty sure most people get that straight by the time they’re 7.

    I know very little about graffiti- I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. How do YOU draw the line between vandalism and graffiti without getting too deep about it?

    Josie

  • June 25, 2007 at 4:50 am | Beach Bum says

    Sorry about your car dude – Josie asks about the line between graffiti and vandalism…if you haven’t heard of Banksy, I reckon he get’s it about right.

    Cheers,
    Beach Bum
    http://www.s-e-x-wax.com

  • June 27, 2007 at 3:24 pm | Jeff says

    Hey Josie,

    I dont know if you check this but here is the PBS special we talked about at Brett and Paul’s

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cool/view/

    Other than that talk to you soon and have a good week.

    Jeff

  • January 24, 2008 at 6:08 am | zach says

    your car got vandalized

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