Paint It, Unblack

As I travel this series of tubes we call the internet, I’m not always sure how I get where I sometimes end up (and no, it’s not always porn). Today I’ve landed on this site called, namely, this page: It’s about reverse graffiti in San Francisco, where graf artists take eco products to clean city buildup like, dirt, smog, exhaust, etc. from city walls and turn the newly, strategically cleaned walls into artful, natural depictions.

I may not be hood or street, I can be nerdy and I don’t even listen to most rap these days, but I will always be hip-hop. No matter what I listen to or do, I will always be the kid from Jersey who remembers the first time I heard ‘Rapper’s Delight’ and Run-DMC, I’ve had most of the “must have” hip hop hair-do’s, good and really bad, from super hightop to bald, lines, words and pics carved in and we’ve all seen the dreads. I’ve been screamed at by my mom about how I’m gonna break my neck from doing headspins, I still wistfully think about my first pair of shelltoes and my suede Pumas, I’m not a half bad DJ (I was once a professional) and regardless of public opinion, I find graffiti to truly be art; but this reverse graffiti is something higher, it is more substantial. It kinda hits you unexpectedly with the message it carries. Graffiti in it’s most basic form is a scream from the nameless and a way to claim a canvas you don’t, you can’t own, but Reverse Graffiti is a scream from the planet pointing out the canvas it didn’t ask for. The buildup that isn’t cleaned up against the washed out image of trees and foliage that could be there, adds such an exclamation it simply can’t be ignored and it all just yells “Wake the Fuck Up!” So I’m all for it…until some asshole spray paints his name over it.

Many more pictures at the actual reference site (I figure they should get the credit they deserve for actually, you know, posting the article that I’ve tacked my opinion onto. Thanks Inhabitat, you eco friendly sunzabritches!

Explore posts in the same categories: Art, Citizenedness, Eco Friendliness

3 Comments on “Paint It, Unblack”

  1. Joops Says:

    It’s like an artfully selective bathing. They can’t clean the whole wall while they’re at it? I mean, they’re already right there…

    Seriously though, it’s nice to see something a little more constructive than paint. Half-clean is better than none at all. đŸ™‚

  2. Kasey Says:

    This is so cool. I have to agree though, can’t they just clean the whole darn thing?

  3. adrilla Says:

    Hey Kasey, Welcome! Here’s my thought process on why they shouldn’t. If you clean it all up the impact and statement is lessened by a tremendous degree. Yes there may be some notoriety in being a vigilante cleaner, but if you can contrast the clean against the dirty at the same time then the statement greatens rather than just having a clean wall. It’s like those laundry commercials where they show the clean against the dirty so that you can see how well their cleaner works. If you have a white carpet it’s pretty, but if you have a coffee stain, it stands out a lot more. The art of the trees adds even more gravity because it instantly brings to mind the ecology. Plus this gets worldwide attention as opposed to someone maybe making the local news for independently cleaning a wall and this kinda puts some weight to the city government because it’s like “look this is a mess and it can be cleaned and maybe we should do something about the cause of the mess, why don’t you guys do something about it? If a couple citizens can do it, then why can’t the city? I dunno, I guess I just think this “screams louder” than cleaning the whole wall.

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