Monday, September 30, 2013

Wondering as I'm Wandering

WHEN STEVE AND I WENT  on our anniversary road trip in August, we saw this sign. We're not in the market for a car so had it not been for the hot pink paint, we probably would have ignored it. So do you think the maker of this sign knows something we don't? Did s/he employ some kind of esoteric marketing strategy? Pink definitely draws the eye but then it's like, what? Is it or isn't it? Did this the evidence of a husband and wife who can't agree? Maybe they'll pay someone 2k to take it away? 

Some things make me scratch my head. 

Here's another head-scratcher but also a jaw dropper. This town isn't known for a lot of gang-related activity, (knock on wood) so spotting this embellished wall blew me away when I saw it. Urban artwork along the back of a building nearby my work. 

It definitely gets your attention.

My photos don't do it justice. It's actually quite impressive.
So how did the "artist (s)" draw this? Was it done in stages? Was it done during the night, by flashlight? Did they get permission from the building owner? If not, how did they get it painted without getting caught? And do these symbols mean anything or are they just random silliness? 

I'm also wont to wonder about all the graffiti emblazoned on the sides of train cars as they whiz by. Why do people do this? Which people do this? I never see them. Are they homeless people?  Are they making a statement or just having fun? Do they wish they could open their own art studio? Are they starving artists waiting for their big break? There is some serious urban talent out there and I can't help wonder about the people who do it.  Any ideas? 


  1. That is a cryptic and conflicted sign, for sure. I like murals a lot, but graffiti not. This looks like a graffiti mural, now that is something new.

  2. I enjoy your blogs.
    I love that you are a why, what,when,how kind of person

  3. The car sign is definitely curious. I wonder if it wasn't someone's idea of graffiti as well?

  4. I too have contemplated graffiti and wondered why these "artists" are wasting their time painting where they are not supposed to rather than putting their talent to good use. Some are very talented and I have seen huge approved murals on the sides of buildings that are fabulous.

  5. Graffiti artists do it for the thrill and the is a whole society of known artistic work that is actually studied...very interesting group.

  6. Thought provoking, Grace. The sign on the car is very curious and I wonder if someone didn't play a prank on the seller. However, as for the "graffiti" paintings or taggings as they're called around Portland, we were the beneficiaries of our fence being tagged a few years back. It was artistic enough that my artist husband left it alone for quite awhile. It is our belief as we watch these amazing images appear out of nowhere on trains, walls, fences, etc. that yes, there is talent out there and for lack of a place to create their art or put it to use for the good of all, these creatives do it where they can without having to pay. Most likely, they are young people, perhaps bored by their humdrum and low income life, who seek a place to share a dream or a talent they can't afford to do otherwise. Coming down off my stump now!

  7. I think the sign on the car was a gimmicky way to draw attention. As far as the graffiti, I often wonder how this is done .. as far as being undercover, a quick operation or stealthy over a period of time. I have seen it on railroad bridges where it looked like someone had to risk their life hanging off a dangerous height to get it done. I was shocked at how much of this I saw in Germqny and how many people enjoyed it as a form of art. Most graffiti I see in Chicago I don't enjoy but every so often I see some amazing works where I have to appreciate the persons creativity and design. Krystallynn

  8. Hi Grace,
    Many years ago I read a book about train graffiti...will have to find it again. I will holler when/if I find it. Fun post.


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