...or really graffiti as I am having a hard time following the rules over at Clan Donaldson...
Arsty speaking, these are really bad photos. I know. But I took them for Jude, not for mass (very tiny mass) consumption on my trip to Rome.
Jude is a graffiti aficionado? fanatic? where is my thesaurus when I need it?
What I mean to say is that he has a passion for graffiti. An enormous, never ending, fixated, unenduringly obnoxious love affair with it. Jude is our, um, difficult child, but he can be as auto-didactic as the next child genius when something sparks his imagination.
The boy knows and knows and knows like there is nothing else to learn about. He could give year long lectures on the history of graffiti, write PhD size dissertations on the various movements, players, styles, etc.
When I showed him these pictures, proud mother of a delinquent that I am, he basically shrugged and said he had seen most of it, knew who most of the "artists" are. Poor mom, always trying to be cool, always failing.
I have a kind of ambivalent, non-attitude about graffiti. I can't tell you how many varied and sundry discussions Obi and I have had with Jude over our right or non-right to appreciate actual crime, that after all, harms society in that it costs tax-payers money to pay officers to track down transgressors, jail them, pay for their mess (or art) to be scrubbed clean. It can harm small business owners who are victims of said destruction and have no recourse. (Even Jude says he has no respect for this type of action, only in respectable places like billboards and under bridges.)
What I do know, when I look at it, not from a mom's perspective or a taxpayer's, is that at the heart of it is the same yearning that is at the heart of the Cave Paintings of Lascaux, and every work of art since. A yearning for an individual to say to this world: "I am here. Let me show you. I have something I want to say to you." -But maybe sometimes, they don't have anything all that great to say.