Dedicated to finding and photographing cool graffiti in Northern New Mexico.
Santa Fe New Mexico is often known for its vibrant art scene—it’s everything from opera to some of the finest art galleries to be found anywhere. A lesser known aspect of this town, and, I suspect, many others, is the graffiti. I’m talking about GOOD graffiti, almost mural-like in some cases. And often, it is a mural, usually commissioned.
I like to roam the streets looking for these expressions of urban creativity. Sometimes the artists work in chalk. So you have to be there within days to see it. I suppose the others are working in “traditional” media: various kinds of spray paint, or just hand drawn or painted with a brush. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I like a lot of it. What I do not like are the wanton scrawls that debase another work of art such as sculpture.
Lately, I’ve seen some artists who create what I call “walk away” graffiti. These artists take the time to print their work, usually on small pieces of paper, then nail it or paste it onto a wall or window. Sometimes those have messages, sometimes not. Anyone can pick it up and walk away with it. Some of it is actually worth taking! And here I’ll have to contradict myself. I have seen some of those walk-aways that ARE in fact political, but they are so artistically or cleverly presented that I’ll choose to include them. They are also not destructive in any way and that is really quite refreshing.
By the way, I have zero use for any graffiti that is attempting to convert me to some political point of view. Worse yet, are those that proclaim profanities. There’s no art in that and a gorilla could do as much. So, yes, I am selective in what I want to feature here.
There is a difference between “graffiti” and “street art”. It seems to me that the art which looks like a mural, and which has been planned out in advance and takes a lot of time to create, is street art. And it’s usually a picture of some kind. I guess the lines between these two can be blurry and difficult to define precisely.