Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Shootout - Graffiti

BAGMAN runs in grinning and shouting: "Recognition at last for my favorite artist!  Maestro of the freight yards!  Leonardo Graffiti!"

Butler just frowns, shakes his head at Bagman, looks over at me and says, "You got anything?"

I like graffiti and have a couple of old shots and a couple of new ones, but I can't complete with Bagman.  Besides, wasn't it Salvador Graffiti"

BUTLER: "Not you too.  Just post some pictures so we can go back to bed."

It was outside the building where I work.  I snapped it in case it was a gang logo but once I saw it, I realised it simply said "SCS" -- South Carolina Sign-painters.  If we ever need to commission any ugly signs.

I looked around my archives and found the next one from Italy, a great trip that is slowly fading in my memory.

And the next one goes back further still to when I was shooting statues in Boston.   I'm not sure it qualifies as graffiti, but some college student probably thought the statue looked better with lipstick.

And the next one goes back even further --

Well, I took the picture yesterday, but...

BUTLER: "That's not graffiti!  It's a portrait your grandfather painted of your mother and grandmother!"

No, no, Butler, you're not looking closely.  Look at the very bottom of the painting.

Way back when I was 7 or 8, I took  pencil and made graffiti on it.  My grandmother was mad at first that I would deface a work of art, but my grandfathers  (whose work of art it was) said he thought it was sweet and added alot to it.  If I ever get back to France I'm going to look more closely to see if little Billy Lisa scribbled any cute love marks on Mona's picture.

I'm not sure this qualifies as graffiti either but I did take it this week.  I need to post a couple of new pictures to prove that I still own a camera and not just a huge archive.  I was going to use this sometime  in a blog about Phillip Simmons.  Simmons was a Charleston, SC legend.  He did most of the great iron grill work in the city from a  little workshop behind his house.  He died a year or so ago and his house is now a small museum although it doesn't get many tourists because it is in the really poor side of town.  One of my colleagues at work knew him and wrote a story for our Diversity Newsletter and he and I went over and shot some illustrations.  But I liked the walkway.   If I get the time later this week, I'll show a little more of Phillip Simmons legacy. 

And the final one is also some old graffiti --

I think I posted this a couple of years ago but it fits.   This is graffiti that dates back to the end of the Civil War.  It is behind a staircase in Drayton Hall, one of the few surviving original plantation houses around Charleston.  It was supposedly spared destruction by Union troops because it had been transformed into a Smallpox Hospital.  My guess is that this was written by one of the doctors because even 150 years later nobody can read doctors' handwriting. 

BAGMAN:  "I can read it perfectly!  It says '5 cc's penicillin and apply leeches as needed'." 

BUTLER:  "Penicillin wasn't discovered until 1928.  Shows how much you know!"

BAGMAN:  "Shows how much you know...shows how much you know...big whoop, you geek."

I leave Bagman and Butler to their little squabble and head off to bed. 


  1. We have a very strict law on graffiti which are considered vandalism!

  2. Wonderful post, Mark. Your addition to your grandmother's portrait does add just that little extra sweet something. And the lipstick is great!

  3. I loved the side walk and your Grand Mother's

  4. I like that on your face. It really make me LOL. May be there is a place fop graffiti after all.

    Your love heart graffiti reminds me of my son when he was three, he got on the dining table and wrote about a meter square using a permanent marker..

    When we moved out, the landlord, (the university) charged us $150, they say it cost $400 to paint the whole thing.

    It was a pity we didn't take a photo of it.

  5. The lipstick is pretty awesome! I love the graffiti on your header, too. :)

  6. I really enjoyed your shoot-out. My favorite was the one from Italy--it is just so cool.

  7. Hey-- I love this one too! How cute that your grandfather wasn't mad about your graffit-izing his work. Train graffiti still amazes me--we have lots of train traffic in Green Bay. As usual, love your stuff.

  8. haha, yes all doctors must take a special workshop in graffiti before they are allowed to write out a single prescription.
    Graffiti is a very old habit,pictographs on rock walls being the oldest, so don't feel bad about pulling up graffiti from the much more recent past; I enjoyed all of it!

  9. Like Ann, I am LOL at the graffiti on your header. How very smart of you. I love the little heart you drew on your grandmother's portraits. Very sweet, and it does add that little something.

    I once wrote on my mother's best friend's purse with an ink pen when I was about 8. They didn't think it was too cute.

  10. The mother/grand portrait is beautiful. And Italy seems to be full of graffiti.

  11. Great post. Now see what you can do when you put your mind to it. I got a big kick out of the header. Love the pics of your mom and grandmom. I remember seeing them before, I think.

  12. :) I loved your post...nothing creative around here just a bit of new tagging. I looove the sidewalk...wonderful!!!

  13. Gosh, that cracked me up. Reminds me of our old family dining room table when I was a child. It came from my father's family where there were 14 children with initials carved all over it - and one carving that looked a bit like a flower. Dad said that was one brother who was too scared to put his name, but left a sign. My God, he was a graffiti-ist and I share his bloodline. Horrors!
    Love your header photo - so clever!

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