For the second time since I began photographing graffiti in Oklahoma, someone mentioned that I needed to checkout this alley off Broadway in Oklahoma City where the owner of an old brick warehouse provides freelance graffitists a canvas to practice their art. I’ve only visited it one time, but I assume the artwork is painted over with new graffiti on a regular basis.
I work part-time as an arts advocate. I have many hopes and dreams for increasing support of arts, culture and the creative industries in Oklahoma. I am currently occupied with advocating for public funding for the arts, but in the fall, my focus will encompass more fully advocacy for arts education. This helps fuel my interest in by-permission graffiti zones like the one featured in these pictures.
|One thing I appreciate about this artform is how graffitists work in various building features including doorways, electrical boxes and meters. The graffiti becomes camouflage.|
According to the website Graffiti Hurts, graffiti removal costs taxpayers in cities acrsoss the U.S. about $1-3 per person each year. While graffiti zones can’t eliminate all artistic graffiti (different from gang tagging), it can reduce it and thus reduce costs to taxpayers. That money could be shifted to a multitude of creative projects including public art and cultural programming. Dream with me, people.
|I love all the colors, but none more than the blue Oklahoma sky.|
You know what would be really cool? I mean, what would make me as happy as a tornado in trailer park? An opera in a graffiti zone. I mean, have you lived your whole life and never heard an opera? You’re missing something special. Check out Cimarron Opera (Oklahoma City) and Tulsa Opera, which, by the way, premiers Dead Man Walking of Sean Penn fame February 25.
|It’s hard to believe a tax collector would subject himself to my graffiti adventures, but he does.|
Thanks, Robert, for helping me jump fences and walk tracks.
|I don’t know what it is, but I love it.|