If only the writing was just on the wall.

I don’t find graffiti annoying, in fact I’m quite keen on good graffiti which means I’m keen on graffiti that I like. What I like most about graffiti is that it can be washed off, painted over, or just removed by knocking down the surface upon which it appears should that surface have no other structural responsibility apart from acting as a canvas. Unfortunately most of the random and pointless imagery of the moment has been applied to the largest organ of a vast multitude of homo sapiens ( that Latin adjective lending a certain oxymoronic quality to the adorned homo) rather than to the more stable surfaces on offer. Humans, as a rule, do not achieve the patina that is acquired by gesso on plaster, paint on canvas or by weather on stone. With age elastic taught skin becomes loose and lined with the addition of blemishes, moles and lentigo senilis, better known as liver spots, which natural degradation does nothing to increase the charm of the already charmless. A wise parent of young children would do well not to encourage their offspring to search out a financially stable career in the law, but rather convince them to train in the new forms of surgery that will undoubtedly be necessary to return the great mass of cosmetically modified humans to their default condition, rather like garages remove the spoilers, and “go faster” accessories from adolescents’ vehicles at a certain point in their progress through life. The foolishness of the “painted man” will be evident on the beaches and sun terraces 50 years hence, rather than in the lodges and tepees of the dignified people of many races whose ancient traditions placed a real meaning on these markings.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in Digital photography, lifestyle, Photography, photography course, Photography holiday, Uncategorized, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to If only the writing was just on the wall.

  1. Ermilia says:

    I’m not sure if I like “graffiti” but I like murals. I tend to associate graffiti with gangs and tagging even though I realize that is not always the case. I like what you said about it the semi permanence of graffiti though. In some ways, it is one of the harder mediums to protect because it is exposed to the elements. Impermanence is especially beautiful in Japan, the knowledge that flowers wilt or that a moment cannot last makes it more beautiful to them.

  2. Maybe I’ve lived in the heart of the French countryside for too long. I feel the same as you about aggressive tagging, but it is quite rare here.

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    Well, Roger, I must confess. I have a bit of graffiti on my back, between my shoulders. The symbol has a special meaning for me and I put it there, on my upper back, so that I wouldn’t see it enough to ever tire of it. I’m pretty certain that this is one bit o’ ink that I won’t be paying to have removed.

  4. How funny! Ever since I was a child, I had a couple of moles on my face that I didn’t care for. I had them removed and it’s weird that every now and then, I seem to miss them (when I remember them!)

  5. Great read, really well written … I am fond of graffiti, particularly the more creative and clever variety … though I am fond of tattoos too – my upper left arm is so adorned! 🙂

  6. kiwikar says:

    I mostly agree with what you say, but I must admit that this doesn’t change my mind about getting one or two tattoos sooner or later. I have been thinking about this for 6 years now because I want them to actually mean something to me, so I don’t have a pointless bird/ship/place-popular-tattoo-choice-here somewhere on my body. It is going to be a symbol for something that happened in my life and thus I won’t have it just because it’s “cool” to have a tattoo but because that moment in my life meant so much to me that I want (certain) people to see.

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