Photos: Graffiti

Graffiti is a crime.

Or at least that’s what they say.

I shouldn’t encourage graffiti by taking photos of it.

Or that’s what I’ve been told.

But here’s the deal, some of these people are artists.  Some of these people are poets.  And I hate that they chose the medium they did, but they did – and I don’t want it lost.

This past weekend, I visited my favorite place – the burned out building where I have taken some incredible shots.  I went back because the landscape is always changing as nature tries to recapture the concrete.  And as people go in and out of the place, leaving parts of themselves behind.

And what did I find this time?

A shit load of graffiti – and a homeless youth camp.  I didn’t discover the latter until I turned the corner and met a pitbull carrying a brush.  He was friendly and his owners – two kids themselves were following behind him.  Clearly I had just missed them coming through the fence.  And as we said our hellos (they weren’t dangerous, and neither was their dog), I turned my lens into the building only to spot a row of tents on pallets (keeping the occupants above the waterline).  Then I lowered my lens.  I felt like I was invading someone’s home.  So I focused on some of the graffiti – and reflections – and clever locales.  And tried to make sure I kept their homes out of it.  Because as I shot these photos, I did not want someone feeling I was invading.  Because, well, I was.  Before it was a study in nature overtaking the city – but now, it is someone’s home.  And really points out the homeless problem in this city – make shift villages forming here and there – where people won’t mind because it’s already a desolate space.  But that’s for another blog post.

This is about the photos:

I really wish I could have seen the rest of this message because I think everyone could have maybe used the message. And I liked that my only choice was to frame it thru a chain link fence & a burned out window. Seems the way I feel about love right now.


I love the reflections. I love the color. I love the depth someone was able to achieve using a spray paint can. Illegal or not, there is an artistry.


Game and teeth….and water and reflections. A bit more to the right, and you would have seen the start of the homeless village. Yes, in the standing water are tents on pallets. There is no irony that nature is trying to overtake this place where people camp. Or maybe that’s just me finding it ironic.
I liked the added “not dead” next to this tag. Just to be clear. And if you saw where this was, you’d wonder how they did it there.
I loved the hot-headed face at the base of this standing chimney. It seemed like the perfect place for it to be. The only thing missing is the plume of smoke leaving the chimney.


“Don’t break me, I’m beautiful”….I loved that phrase spray painted next to a face. I guess it speaks to me because it is so easy to break people who are beautiful from the inside out. While their exterior exudes toughness, it isn’t who they are. Don’t break me. A truer request could not be made.

This building is slated to be torn down.  Seeing that sign made me sad.  It has been in this state for a long LONG time.  And I have enjoyed shooting it over time.  I guess I will have to keep going back in hopes of capturing its final days. Hell, maybe I’ll even venture inside – crawl through the gap in the chain link fence and explore the area.  Take photos. Preserve the place it has become before they rip it down and build something anew.  Ah, the circle of life in the city.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Dana says:

    I have always been a huge fan of “street art” (graffiti sounds so … so … illegal). I also appreciate your respect of the home where the art was displayed 🙂

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