When I was growing up graffiti was underground and it was illegal. Some property owners were kind enough to allow artists to express their talen legally on “permission walls”. These were rare, but probably instrumental in graf writing gaining notice in traditional art crowds and networks.
Nowadays after well-known “street” artists like Banksy with others gaining acceptance and popularity, murals public art and guerilla wheatpastings are becoming expected in the city landscape. The criminality seems to have lessened.
Some graffiti artists hate the term street art, some embrace the mainstream. In any case, I’m in the latter because it’s allowing our cities to become unique, beautiful and even more interesting. Fucking boring ass architecture from the later century has left much the city a wasteland of dull office buildings and strip malls. Thankfully someone had the sense to beautify some parts of Houston with scenic parks to help reverse the urban sprawl and corporate practicalism that plagued the city landscape for so long.
The photos above are just from one block and I have seen much more murals all around the city. It’s giving the city vibrance that has so desperately been needed. The murals are becoming an attraction with crowds of peope waiting to take photos of themselves standing beside the works of art. Interestingly no one really does this with paintings. Public art is for the people and people are drawn to interact with it.
Austin has lovely hills and a beautiful city. Houston, although flat and pretty dull save the skyline is full of the most diverse and beautiful people of any city that I know. The city is full of art, and a city with a message. Living, breathing and speaking. It is so great to see this and to watch my hometown grow, prosper and become more beautiful as the years go by.