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Category: Graffiti

Graffiti in the Alberta Arts District

Back in the USA

I’m back home after three weeks in Australia, and a little over two weeks in Java, Indonesia. Now that I’m looking for street art, I realize how prolific the medium is worldwide. In Indonesia there was street art in some of the most remote places. I wasn’t able to make a lot of photos given the crazy traffic everywhere on the island of Java. Australia is also not too shabby in the medium, I encountered some really beautiful pieces. I also fell in love with the Fitzroy neighborhood in Melbourne. It reminded me of home at just the right moment.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks getting over some major jetlag, finally the last two days of sunshine inspired me to pick up a camera and go walking in the sunshine. I was gone just over five weeks and the number of changes on the street reminds me that the Alberta Arts District is steadily evolving. Given that I’ve been making photos on Alberta Street for just about everyday for a year now, I find myself noticing both the major and subtle differences on the street. I definitely feel like I’m looking at my neighborhood in a different way. Although, the whole “chasing light” syndrome has made it hard not to run outside to make photos whenever I sense that the changing weather is creating beautiful light and shadows.


Graffiti takes many forms in the Alberta Arts District often blurring the line between vandalism and art. Sidewalk graffiti is a different genre of neighborhood graffiti than the usual hieroglyphic tags, and guerrilla art. A few years ago, vegan vandals were defacing just about every sidewalk corner with “meat is murder” slogans. The campaign was effective in that it made me want to continue to eat meat just to mentally say “suck-it” to the vegan vandals.

STEPDAD appears to be a band. It also looks like the type of band that would end up with it’s name semi-permanently engraved on an Alberta Street sidewalk. Lots of facial hair and dripping with ironic synth-pop.

Murals in Progress

The panels on the front of the Black United Fund’s office building are slowing gaining scenes depicting our neighborhood’s history. Around the corner is graffiti which could be counted as temporal based modern art. We were walking back from afternoon coffee, there was a cloud break and that corner turned a rosy pink. Only had my iPhone camera and didn’t completely capture the rosy moment, but you get a same-same-but-different effect in black and white.

Brown Grass and Blue Graffiti

For a while this empty lot was home to some carnival activities during Last Thursday. Eventually a fence went up and the back walls were painted brown. A perfect canvass for graffiti. The walls are painted and the graffiti returns. The tags seem more considered than in other parts of the street, and the dead, brown grass is a suitable frame.

I started looking through my collection of Walk on Alberta photos and realized I’ve got a pretty good record of the ever-changing walls in that empty lot.

I’m starting to get a little bit fond of the graffiti on the street. It’s vandalism, of course, but the tags do add visual interest particularly when making photographs of the street most days. I’ve also started noticing graffiti when I travel. On a recent trip to Mexico City I found myself making photos of the graffiti there. It’s not so different.


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