Cura - Freewalls in the City, anyone?-A A +A
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
By Vaune Everis Cura
PABLO Picasso. Michelangelo Buonarroti. Vincent Van Gogh. Masters in the art of painting. Their names ring familiar because the world's eye has seen and has recognized their work. But what about the likes of Skeme, Banksy. Of David Choe, or Zephyr? ----- only a few to name among the countless graffiti artists across the globe. Most might not know these pseudo – anonymous names, much less have seen the works of the artists behind them. But I believe that what they do... graffiti... is art, and should be given the right amount of support it needs and deserves, especially within our own backyard: Baguio City.
It has been wrongly assumed that all graffiti are influenced by gangs. We need to make a distinction between gang tagging and graffiti itself. For graffiti, as its Greek origin “graphein” simply implies, is “to write”. It is a form of expression of self, of culture and beliefs, and of ideals. The only problem is that people associate graffiti art with crime or violence. And it is not fair to true graffiti artists, whose intentions are merely to tell us something, and make us think.
In Baguio alone, there are many homegrown artists, yet we have done little to encourage the development of their skills. As in other countries, we must commission graffiti art that our graffiti artists can move without being told off for vandalizing.
I say street art is just as good as the paintings we see on canvas in museums. So it's time we actively start marking areas within the city as avenues for art expression. Graffiti artists too, have the right to be heard, or seen, for that matter. Having legitimate freewalls can lessen the vast number of vandalism we see today, and can even help promote the city of Baguio and enhance cultural reputation, as one graffiti enthusiast has stated.
So when we encounter graffiti on the city's freewalls (hoping that we will soon have one or more), I'd like to borrow one Posterchild's words... The question to ask should not be “Is it art?”... but instead, “Is it good?”
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 11, 2012.