Graffiti – Reno NV Revisited
The post ”Reno NV” was really about graffiti, but I didn’t use the word in the post title or tags, live and learn, yeh? Future posts containing photos of graffiti or “public art”, will be tagged “graffiti” or “public art”, I will probably create a new category specifically for graffiti.
I first photographed graffiti while living in SoCal back in the late 1970’s; I used to ride my bicycle to work along the L.A. river channel (concrete). The bicycle path ran along the top of the concrete channel and in the channel bottom, under the street overpasses and then back up on the channel bank. The concrete overpass supports were “tagged” by individuals and gangs; with none of the “serious” work like what is being put up by the paint “crews” today. I still have some b/w 35mm negs stashed somewhere.
For me ”tagging” is spray painting or using a marker, to scribble your name, the name of a city or a fav sports team, etc., with no embellishment. I also consider “tagging” over a previously painted piece “spoiling”. A good comparison here would be to view singular tattoos, like dolphins, tinker bell, and other single images as “tags”, no imagination, just being one-of-the-crowd.
I have documented painted panels in a rural area of eastern California for the past 4 years. My collection includes individual panels, tagging and the over-painting of older panels with newer and increasingly more sophisticated paint work. The panels in Owens Valley incorporate stencil work and freehand panels with subtle shading and hard-edge imagery. There are subliminal “power to the people” inferences and overt drug related images and tags, i.e. PCP, THC, cannabis and LSD. Peace symbols and marijuana leaves are also in evidence. This site in western Nevada was a pleasant surprise when I first saw it.
This site is a must see for anyone who likes contemporary graphics, not just for the paint, but for the concrete environment and isolated desert location.
Images were clipped from a video shot with the Flip Mino HD and shopped with Photoshop Elements 3.0