Graffiti is I think one of the most interesting visual arts, by even saying that I accept that many people will not think of it as art as some will see it as damage. For me though I can’t think of any other art form that is so immediate and at its best simply puts the creation at centre stage, no gallery, artist often annonymous, no money, no canvas etc just the creation itself as the creator wanted it there for you to make up your mind on. I’m not even sure what the definition of graffiti would be and what the difference is between say Banksy or Basquiat and mural paintings or the painted ends of the houses in Belfast for example. It can though I think be amazingly powerful, perhaps more than any other art form and can make a huge difference to a public space. It can completely enhance a space, be playful, enjoyable, thought provoking, political and it can total distract as well creating feelings of anxiousness, fear and criminality. I tend to fall in favour of the former whilst also being aware of the latter but either way I do tend to notice it and particularly when there is something interesting going on.
I recently became aware of an amazingly interesting project in North Wales where DuDug have been going to work creating some fantastic graffiti images on the hull of a ship, The Duke of Lancaster, that as been left rotting for the last 30 years. Can the graffiti art help to turn the ship into a tourist attraction, highlight it’s rotting hulk or do nothing other than put some colour in place. I’m not sure but like all good art it makes you stop, think and question things and I think that graffiti art in particular is very good at doing this. Have a look at the pictures and click on the link through to DuDug where you can read more about the art, artists and the ship and let me know what you think on this project and graffiti (art) in particular.