I am a huge fan of the arts; music, theater, film, photography- the obvious- fashion, painting, graffiti etc; even if I don’t understand it, I still find a way to appreciate it. For the longest time I didn't understand graffiti because it wasn't something that I had seen in art galleries; but since being in Stavanger I have grown a true appreciation for graffiti as an art form.
I have always wished deep down that I could take a vision in my mind and translate into beauty in drawn form; sadly that’s not me- the best I can do is stick men and women. But I have many other talents, so I’m okay with it. It’s best for morale to focus on my strengths; but I digress, I appreciate art in its many forms.
Here in Stavanger the crime rate is very low, so low even, that people leave their doors open at night and even go as far as to leave their babies outside while dining inside a café- Norwegians believe strongly in the benefit of fresh air.
The only real dissent they have is graffiti, but instead of trying to fight the graffiti artists, they- the powers that be- have given them- the graffiti artists- a canvas.
In downtown Stavanger, right by the Petroleum Museum, there is a sandy play park/jungle gym, made from reclaimed scraps off of old rigs, and the government allows- rather welcomes- graffiti tagging all over it. There literally is not a inch left untagged; but what I love about it most, is that there isn’t an abuse of the wonderful gift that they have been given- meaning no profanity or lewd drawings. It’s nice to see; I mean, in Edmonton, a tag done at 3 am is removed by noon the next day; graffiti is treated as vandalism, when really and truly, it’s art.
Now this isn’t to say that some graffiti doesn’t spill onto a few buildings away from the government sanctioned canvas; but it’s nice to see a place where all types of artistic expression is embraced.
Seen any cool graffiti lately?
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