Sunday, October 12, 2008

Entertainment/News - Philadelphia Mural Arts Project

Fame, rebellion, self-expression, and power – the four motivational factors of graffiti artists. Graffiti is a problem in just about every large, populated city in the United States. Be it from gangs marking their stomping grounds or artists wanting to express themselves, city and private walls become canvases for both vandalism and occasionally, masterpieces. Regardless of the work created, the act is unacceptable and cities have been working for decades to keep their properties blemish free - and for good reason.

According to Graffiti Hurts, it is the most common type of vandalism in America, with cleanup costs taking up a large part of local government budgets. For instance, Minneapolis, Minnesota spends upwards of $4 million each year in combat of such defacement. For the most part though, anti-graffiti budgets are spent on ineffective programs such as the graffiti hotline and free volunteer clean-up packages in San Jose.

While browsing the recently, I came across a different way to fight the vandalism: with more graffiti. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Project turns large, targeted walls into stunning paintings. By attacking paint with paint, and constructing monuments, Philadelphia has been and continues detering other from ruining the once worthless walls.

Here is just one mural, called “The Peace Wall,” and completed in 1997:

You can find a slideshow of different murals here, posted by the New York Times.

Post-Script: With my next post, I’ll start getting into different hacks to help you in all areas of life.

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