Story By: Jonathan Pineda
Graffiti is a creative street art that has proven to be one of the more intense and attractive kinds of street art.
Graffiti may have existed since the beginning of time when cavemen wrote on stone walls during the 19th century. As cultures evolved, Egyptians wrote on the pyramids, temples and tomb walls.
Graffiti has not always been accepted by mainstream society. Police regard graffiti as vandalism and often arrest those who attempt to put their art in public places. Still, some graffiti art has been elevated, exhibited in places like the Museum of Contemporary Art. The United Kingdom’s Banksy, who has received international acclaim is one such example.
For many years Los Angeles, has been an epicenter of urban art. Many now famous artists have gotten their start on the streets of the city, like an up-and-coming artist who goes simply by “Apathy.”
“My style is different from everybody’s. I like to think outside of the box. My designs are one of a kind, and I enjoy working on new designs when I think one out,” 18-year-old Apathy said. “Graffiti is one of my main passions, and whenever I see someone look at my art I feel like people look back and change their opinions.”
Many graffiti artists use different effects and art designs to grab peoples attention, even adding signature characters and effects.
Another young artist, Carlos Mercado, uses of vibrant colors like turquoise, yellow, coral, blue, orange and many others so he can stand out.
“Graffiti for me is free. I like the idea of going out, painting what you want, wherever you want, at whatever time you want. It’s therapeutic just to go out and do something away from everybody else while listening to some music and just being on your own,” Mercado said.
While graffiti is illegal, homeowners can still hire artists to paint a mural on their house. That gives many artists the opportunity to save themselves from receiving fines for something that will be covered eventually.
Venice Beach also allows artists to paint on its walls as long as the artist acquires a permit.
Joseline Rios taught an art class at Antelope Valley College in 2007. As an enthusiast, Rios participated in art walks in the San Fernando Valley for the past two years.
“I don’t consider it vandalism if what the individual paints is art and has character. I enjoy the beauty and creativity of every individual’s art and think they should be recognized as great inspiring people of their communities,” Rios said.
As society grows to expand and open its collective minds on the social impact of the world, new generations are learning to accept graffiti and the artists that influence them to be someone different in this world.
“Being capable of creating anything from scratch, making it amazing and something for people to make a memory from it is something amazing people just want to be appreciative and noticed,” Rios said. “I taught because I loved to work with gifted students who didn’t realize that they have such an amazing talent.”