I don't get graffiti. It's narcissistic arrogance exalted. That I get. I like bombing stuff, myself. Whether it's a strategically-crafted piece designed to get a particular person's attention passively, or just tagging kids' homework so I can imagine they get a mini-thrill at some new imagery to break up the tedium and monotony of their endless worksheets, or quietly slapping people in the face and imagining who might like or feel stung by the work--I get the thrill of placing art up unprompted, poofing away, and having people gravitate towards the art (and by extension the artist, of course).
What I sharply disagree with and am confounded by is justifying littering public space. Most graffiti is mindless to me. Scribbling your name isn't art, nor is putting up cryptic too-cool-for-school scrawlings that hipsters cheer for being ironically bad. So much graffiti is quarter-hearted draftsmanship or senseless dadaism or just plain juvenile or dim-witted work.
But I get the thrill, of course. Japanese stores have tons of free space on open pads of paper for you to sample their wide pen selections. Today's first image was me trying out a calligraphy brush that floated like a cloud on top of sampler stationary. I also drew on a chalk board to help entertain some kids between classes.
This was fun, an artistically fresh experience, and it's not infringing on anyone's space nor asserting my essential value over some pre-existing thing. It's a statement of me and it's effortlessly removed at no expense to anyone other than what the establishment inherently made clear they accept: the sample paper pad will get rotated out when it becomes too cluttered, the chalkboard will be swiped clean before the next class begins. I take a photo to remember that time I got my artistic jollies in public, I get to ghost-entertain people, and nobody gets hurt. If graffiti were executed in a similar harmless fashion, or at least if it were always beautiful rather than frequently grotesque, I could understand the medium. But as is, I don't get graffiti.
To be fair I also don't get the Beatles.
In fact, I hate The Beatles.