Within the past couple of years, the gentrification of certain areas of Brooklyn has brought on something new for people to nitpick about. Or is it new? Guess it depends on your perspective on what is art and what is graffiti!
Wall murals are all the craze in neighborhoods, such as Bedstuy and Bushwick, two neighborhoods that were once plagued with gang violence. And yes, gang graffiti. But why are paintings like this, this, and this?
Different from paintings like the above?
Although it is very simple minded, many people in New York City have said the current graffiti, art, whatever you want to call it is being allowed simply because white people are doing it, and any other race would be accused of gang graffiti or arrested.
People who make such accusations are forgetting about the intent of the person marking up buildings though. Gang members who participate in drawing gang symbols do so because they want to “mark their territory” and intimidate rival gangs. Where there was gang graffiti, there was always gun fights and other acts of violence simply because someone walked on the wrong block or dealt drugs on “their turf”. The current state of wall murals serves to beautify, at least that is how the artists themselves explain it.
But is the new form of graffiti an act of occupation and colonialization by white people, yuppies, transplants, or whatever name you want to call them? Or is the attitude of “they’re marking their territory” more of a perceived threat that is based on a real life threat that does not exist so much anymore, regardless of the skin color of the one with the paint?
With this being said, however, I do hope that everyone who picks up the paint cans for the murals that are enjoyed by many has gotten permission from the owner of the building. No one wants a modern day turf war. It’s not that I want to walk around barefoot and sing Kum Bye Ya to random strangers, but with so much negativity in the world, we should only want peace with our neighbors.
In other words, don’t be like this girl.
And besides, I like skulls! I can always hope that Pokemon Go can help me discover new skull murals around New York City!