a hand holding a broken pastel over a sheet of Rives BFK paper with a sketchy drawing on it

Wk 5: Last Week Drawing, This Week Painting



Need Help?

  1. Ask online
  2. Come to before class OH on Wed 11:30-12:30 @Robek’s / Coffee Bean umbrella tables
  3. I can go to AS-120 (AS building is next to The Beach Hut, next to The Library) after class on Wed, at 3:45 and help anyone with anything.
  4. Make an appointment to meetup another time
Patricia Arienne Avendano with a pastel on paper drawing
Patricia Arienne Avendano

Artist Conversations

Points on BeachBored

All points through Week 4 are now up on BeachBored. Be sure to check your points and know where you stand! So far we’ve had 209 points possible. Here’s how many points you should have to be on track for each grade level, and how many peeps in 1p / 2:30 are currently at each grade level:

A = 188 points – 56 / 47
B = 167 points – 4 / 4
C = 146 points – 1 / 3
D = 125 points – 1 / 3
F = 124 points – 3 / 5

  • 1p GPA = 3.68
  • 2:30 GPA = 3.37


Top 5 @1pm:

  1. Stephanie Arciva, 282
  2. Maritess Anne Inieto, 264
  3. Carlos Villicana, 250
  4. Janis Vernier, 239
  5. Selena Lara, Hannah Adams, 238

Top 5 @2:30:

  1. Lydia Chang, 295
  2. Jamie Van, 284
  3. Yesenia Hernandez, 263
  4. Samantha Gomez, 249
  5. Nathan Davalos, 247
Samuel De La Cruz with a pastel on paper line drawing
Samuel De La Cruz

Activity Wk 5

Beautiful work on last week’s Automatic Drawing activity! You’ll see some samples of your classmates work and some of what they wrote below. Congrats and thanks for giving the unusual project a try and for getting such varied and awesome results! 😀

This week we move from Drawing to Painting. Once again it’s not quite the “standard” painting. This week we’ll try Graffiti Writing. And to go with it, as you’ll see at the bottom of this page, our Art Talk Discussion is the excellent Graffiti Writing documentary film Bomb It.

  • You can paint anywhere that is legal
  • A piece of cardboard or plywood in your backyard is great
  • I know the Venice Art Walls are far, but it’s a very eclectic, diverse place where you’ll see a lot of culture mashup, and also at the walls you’ll see a lot of great work!
  • Don’t be intimidated by the good work at the Venice Art Walls! Just think of it as a white board in a classroom. Plus you don’t have to paint up front, you can “hide in the back!” 😛
  • The Venice Art Walls are open Saturday & Sunday from 10am to 1/2 hour before sunset (closed during the week)
  • I’ll go this Saturday from 10am – 1pm. And I’ll bring 3 gallons of iced tea in case anyone’s thirsty!
  • Use at least 2 colors of paint
  • Paint your name in bubble letters (drop shadow type lettering)
  • Your Art Kit came with 2 colors of Montana Gold spray paint, and a fantastic set of tips that will help you paint thin, tight outlines, broad fills, and in between.

Full Details:

Automatic Drawing

Such beautiful work you guys! Here’s a sample of some of your drawings and a little of what some of you said about them:

Andrew Nguyen's friend holding a pastel line drawing they made on Rives BFK paper
Andrew Nguyen

When I started the Automatic Drawing with my boyfriend, it felt like there was no thought process to it, our hands just flowed. We let the pen talk and just kept going like if our hands couldn’t stop going. I thought this activity was awesome! We had so much fun doing it, even my boyfriend wanted to keep going. The end result happened to be a bunch of loops and circles and ongoing lines. I decided to go “beyond” and we both colored it, without putting thought to it. Automatic drawing is a good way to just let your emotions out and relax!
Aleah Lomeli

Alex Miramontes' sister Taylor with the Automatic Drawing they made together
Alex Miramontes’ sister Taylor with the Automatic Drawing they made together

I decided to ask my annoying little sister, Taylor to be part of my art experience and she was excited to try something new… We were sitting across from one another on the floor with our legs crossed and had blue on our right hand and orange on our left and drew with both hands simultaneously. After, we used yellow and had all four of our hands on the yellow pastel and started drawing. We had the radio turned on in the background to create a relaxing environment, it helped us focus on the art. At first we couldn’t stop laughing because it was difficult to come to an agreement with what we were going to draw, I kept feeling a force that prevented me from navigating the way I wanted to go. In the beginning we could not sync up with what direction we were going to draw and we broke a couple of the crayon pastels. However, after a minute or two we both just started drawing and it felt automatic. I found it weird how towards the end we did not need to verbally communicate about the drawing, it was like we were reading each others minds and knew what we wanted to draw. I really liked how our drawing turned out… I enjoyed this weeks activity and it allowed my little sister and I to bond together!!
Alex Miramontes

automatic drawing by Amanda Martinez featuring heavy pastel marks on a large sheet of paper
Amanda Martinez

As we were drawing it was very relaxing we took turns guiding the pastels. I really liked how we did not have to say a word to each other while drawing it just happened so naturally. After all of the blending and adding a few lines it looked like a tornado with a man standing at the base of its path. To me the tornado was a metaphor for his life unraveling before his eyes. He is a powerless man and eventually the mess in his life will consume him. I could also see the drawing in a positive way if I were the figure at the bottom of the tornado. Lately I have been stressed with my new job and school, however, somehow I am keeping it together and I am still standing as the tornado as it heads off into the distance. Overall, this was a cool experience and I would recommend people to give it a try.

Amanda Martinez

a hand holding a broken pastel over a sheet of Rives BFK paper with a sketchy drawing on it
Ana Maya

We began our conversation by talking about something simple–how our day was. Then, we moved onto talking about when we went to drink boba tea earlier, and I told her I’d taken a sip of her drink without her looking, which caused her to make a hard streak onto the paper. We switched pastel crayons often, considering she broke the yellow one. We managed to never looked down on at the paper, since we wanted to be surprised at what the final result would be. Five minuted had gone by, and we ended up laughing about the fact that tomorrow is my birthday and she doesn’t have a gift prepared for me yet… All in all, I enjoyed this project. It may not look like much, but it gave my sister and I a reason to have a nice conversation.

Ana Maya

Maritess & Brian blending pastel lines on an abstract drawing on Rives BFK paper
Maritess Anne Inieto & Brian Sath with the automatic drawing they made. Apparently automatic drawing takes a lot of Starbucks. And a little Twix, of course.

you could either go with the flow, or make the flow. When our flows would match, we would make very wide, circular shapes. When one of us would try to take more control than the other, we would end up with jagged edges because our hands couldn’t tell where the pastel would go. When one of us would try to take control over the other, we would also end up breaking the pastel. We broke the pastels multiple times, actually… I would suggest anyone who is undergoing some stress to do this activity because it definitely relieved some stress while I was studying for my midterms.
Maritess Anne Inieto

I wanted to create a dragon like in the video that I had watched. After noticing that it was hard to create something by going with the flow, I gave up. I tried to draw RNA Polymerase I,II, and III. Sorry if you can’t tell, but I had been studying for my Molecular Cell Biology class all day. The black was the RNA that was being transcribed. The bottom parts were the section of the DNA
Brian Sath

Briana Garcia leaning over an "automatic drawing" or abstract line drawing, that she made with her boyfriend
Briana Garcia

I did this activity with my boyfriend and I must say, out of the five years we have been together we have never done anything like this before. We did the automatic drawing in my living with the lights dimmed while we listened to Coldplay. Who knew so much emotion could be the end result of drawing. This experience was different for me. It was an unfamiliar feeling and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing, but it was interesting to see how such a simple task can turn into something more. This experience turned out to be so different than what I had imagined. But maybe I learned something about my relationship or we both learned something about each other.

Briana Garcia

automatic drawing by Jacqueline Sanchez. Pastel on paper.
Jacqueline Sanchez

at first it felt more like my sister and I were fighting for control of the chalk rather than working together, but we got the hang of it eventually. After finishing the first set of lines we decided to give it a try with another color. It was much more than just random squiggles, it represented a connection between me and my sister in that every curve of that line, and the direction it took wouldn’t have been the same if it weren’t for both of our contributions.

Jasmine Figueroa

pastel drawing on paper
Kayla Tafoya-Sablan

we were on the floor having a couple beers and Hot Cheetos while I played Johnny Cash on my laptop. We just sat there with eyes closed, sometimes peeking as we let the pencil and the movement of our hands draw a bunch of random lines and shapes, but we weren’t getting much on paper just by our breathing and involuntary movement causing the pencil to slide across the paper. Then the song Ring of Fire came on, and we both started to wiggle a little as our way of basically saying “this is my jam.” We were getting a lot more movement by our dancing so we wiggled in place and sang to the entire song. It was hilarious and really fun…

Next thing you know, I was like, “Oh my god. I’m gonna find Johnny Cash’s name in this…” It took me about 10 minutes to find each letter – ones that looked the most like the actual letter. I then decided to color in random shapes and empty spots in and around the entire ball of scribble with the two other pastel colors I got in my art kit which were a lime green and yellow.

Kayla Tafoya-Sablan

yellow and black pastel markings on paper that make a sort of heart shaped image
Marlene Rodriguez

Completing this activity made me realize how honest and how creepy the energies of people can be… My boyfriend being the jokester that he is decided it would be funny to rub his hands all over the poster after we scribbled on it which made me pretty upset because I thought it was ruined. So i grabbed the black pencil and began scribbling over everything once more. As you can see the top of the photo was the side I was sitting at and it’s pretty dark. I’m guessing it was because I was upset so I put more pressure on the pencil. Eventually I wasn’t so upset anymore because it actually looked pretty cool and I thanked him and apologized for over reacting. Then the crazy thing we realized was that it almost looks like a heart.

Marlene Rodriguez

pastel drawing by Selena Lara and her sister
Selena Lara

Awkward! This week I thought I would use this art activity to reconnect with my younger sibling Leslie, who recently simply was not having it with me. Even though I could’ve done it with anyone else I chose to do it with her because I was tired of the tension between us. My mother practically forced her to do it with me. It was the only way I thought the tension between us would be released.

I think it was the first time in two weeks that I’ve seen her smile at me again. It was also the first time in two weeks that she giggled endlessly because of how awkward a silly automatic drawing was for both us. At first, it wasn’t getting either of is anywhere so we decided to play some music to help us. I played a couple of our favorite songs including, Paranoia by A Day to Remember, Cynical by Blink 182, and Not Good Enough for Truth in Cliche’ by Escape the Fate. Our hands started moving towards the beat of the music! Finally we were getting somewhere!

Through the activity itself and the songs we realized how much better things are when we are both laughing and having fun with each other. I honestly felt that this activity was gift from whatever force there is out in the world! In the piece itself I think you can really see all the feelings between us. In the black you can see the release of my sister’s frustration at practically being forced to do the activity. In the green you can see the beats of the music playing in the background. In the yellow you can see our laughter and at last the reconciliation between the two of us. Overall an activity, that brought peace between two siblings.

Selena Lara

pastel covered  hands resting on top of a pastel drawing
Selena Lara
two people sitting across a large sheet of paper and holding a pastel stick together
Jamie Van

We were giggling a lot as we let the colors move themselves and it was a lot more fun than we expected. We had snacks and brownies on the side and we were all hyped up on our sugar high, which could have explained the craziness in our art piece. After we had our fun, our piece looked very interesting. It had an abstract feel to it but at the same time, it seemed very organized. There were loops and circles and it ended up becoming a giant figure of black and green.

Jamie Van

Juli Yoshinaga making a pastel "Automatic Drawing" with a partner
Juli Yoshinaga

At first, it was difficult to draw because we both did not know what direction to draw in and we hesitated to be assertive in where we wanted our pastel to go next. However, we both were very relaxed and did not get frustrated because we found this as an opportunity to create something freely without direction.

After multiple turns, swirls, and spins, we were getting the hang of the art and it flowed naturally without much effort. I’ll admit that it was difficult having our eyes closed because I wanted to look and pick my next move. However, closing our eyes forced us to focus on the movement rather than perfecting the piece so it was a nice change for once.

Overall, the experience was great! It was not once stressful or hard, rather, a fun and carefree one. I very much enjoyed this project because it felt as if it united two people because we were only allowed “one” hand to draw. By one hand I mean that we had to put all hands and force into one pastel to create our piece. I’m more than happy with the results because this is the most natural art experience I have ever had and I am proud of the art. This piece will always remind me of the fun laughs, and good memories I made. Sometimes it’s about the meaning behind it, rather than the actual visual image, and that’s why I love this piece so much!

Juli Yoshinaga

pastel drawing in yellow, green & black
Linney Sar

I asked my boyfriend Connor to be my partner for this activity and he was very excited to help. He is an Animation major at California State University Fullerton so he always enjoys getting to help me with my art projects…

We did this project with our eyes closed so that our product would be a surprise. After a couple minutes we agreed to open our eyes. It is hard to explain why I like this piece, because it does look like a three year old made it. I just really enjoy the idea behind it. Me and someone very special to me made this together without thinking. I feel in a way it reflects our relationship. We work together to create something that can sometimes feel a little crazy but overall is something beautiful. While it may not be the most appealing work of art to others, it has now become one of my favorites.

Lizzy Stiller

colored marker on paper color field drawing
Picantha Im

I did this week’s activity with my boyfriend. We looked around the house and drew whatever we saw: my cat, a pumpkin, random shapes, and scribbled our names. Without looking, of course! After that, we decided to color everything in.

Picantha Im

sitting on the sidewalk on the CSULB campus and making a tandem pastel drawing
Raul Silva & Erika Perez

We finally decided to sit in front of FA-2… I am glad we did, it was plenty peaceful and it was nice to be in the natural shade of the trees…

Here Erika and I are in the zone, letting our subtle unconscious movements guide the pastel across the paper… The greatest difficulty was to not break them. Four hands on the fragile pastels was not the ideal condition for them. Breaking all three of the colors that we had (Yes we made a pastel graveyard). I will admit it was not in my comfort zone to let go of my conscious effort to create something instead of just squiggles and lines. I was continuously tempted to consciously use a greater portion of the paper. But i let go and our hands decided to stay in the center.

We looked at it and I noticed that one of the curves we made looked like a dragon head so i grabbed the black and began to draw the face. Erika quickly proceeded to draw some of the body, the tail, flames and a surrounding. Even using the pathway as a canvas from not leaving the center with our eyes closed. Astonished at what the final results were. This is where I felt most comfortable, improvising to create something impressive out of completely random and seemingly chaotic.

Raul Silva

After my last class on Thursday, I met up with one of my classmates, Raul Silva, to work on the art project together. It took a few minutes to find a place but we ended up in a nice shady spot under the trees by the Fine Arts buildings. We then brought out our pastels, laid our paper, and sat ourselves down to begin. The location helped tremendously in helping me ease my mind and letting my hands draw on their own. As cheesy as it may sound, it was the switch of focus to the sound of students walking by, the birds chirping up above, and how the breeze felt on my skin that played a major role in relaxing me. However, brief moments where I was snapped out of my relaxing stage occurred as the fragile pastels broke beneath our hands.

Our pastels were tragically murdered, but that did not stop us from exploiting them as we continued to use them. Our finish product was squiggly lines toward the center area of the paper. Surprisingly, it felt like we spent a good amount of time with the drawing process, yet the result seemed minimal to me. Nevertheless, quickly after we stood up and admired our work, we remembered that we could get a little creative with our work. Raul took initiative in the first step as he defined a dragons head amongst the squiggles. I then went off his inspiration and created some of the body, tail, fire, and surrounding area. With true teamwork, we were able to bring alive “Doodle Dyno.”

Erika Perez

pastel drawing on paper in yellow, green & black
Raul Silva & Erika Perez
two hands holding a pen and drawing on paper
Stephanie Valdivia

For this activity, I had the help of my girlfriend. We went to our local Starbucks to work on it. She’s the more artsy one in the relationship so she was pretty excited to lend an artistic hand. This was new to me and I wasn’t sure exactly what to do. She had done something like this before so she knew what to do. She explained how easy it was and I got it. It was actually a really fun project. I always start these projects intending to finish as quickly as possible but I always end up spending more time on it because it’s so fun. Unfortunately, the pastels in my art kit were an ugly combo: yellow, lime green, and black. Black was messy so we had to leave it out. Yellow and green are okay colors but it could’ve been better with other colors. We went over our markings two or three times. We wanted to color it more but with our two unappealing colors, we decided to leave some color out. This activity was so much fun and made for a really nice date!

Stephanie Valdivia

pastel drawing in black, yellow and green
Stephanie Valdivia
staccato lines in yellow, green, and black pastel on drawing paper
Yesenia Hernandez & Jessica Obrique

I did the project with my best friend Jessica. We met up at my house. We sat on these comfy chairs and put this big Atlas book on top of our legs as the board for our paper. At first we felt funny and laughed. After a bit, we got into the groove of things and just started conversing.

Our final product conveyed our emotions as we started discussing some frustrations we were having at work. Even the colors are dark to me. At first I thought of a bumble bee because Black and Yellow.

This art activity seemed chaotic but I think it was actually the opposite. It was meditating and soothing although it does not appear to be. I would definitely do this again to help release built up anguish.

Yesenia Hernandez

One of my high school friends, Yesenia, is taking Art 110 with me and we decided to do the automatic drawing activity together. The key point of automatic drawing was to let the art come automatically. So we sat on the floor, closed our eyes, and let our markers do their thing!… When we first started Yesenia and I started laughing because we felt a little funny doing this. The markers moved with both our hands on it and we created something pretty awesome. We loved how it turned out. It reminded me a lot like a cell’s nucleus; most likely because I’m taking biology right now haha. Overall it was a great experience! I plan on keeping it for memories’ sake.

Jessica Obrique

Yuliana & Omar holding a pastel drawing on paper
Yuliana Torres and her nephew Omar

Art Talk OTW

  1. 3 Million Years of Art History
  2. Joseph DeLappe
  3. Mahsa Soroudi
  4. The Mind in the Cave
  5. Graffiti Writing: Bomb It

To go with our Graffiti Writing activity this week, our Art Talk Discussion will be the documentary film Bomb It. It’s one of those weeks I told you about where the video would be longer – in this case 90 minutes. I know that’s long, but I hope most of you will like the film a lot! It’s a world tour of Graffiti Writing, starting in Philadelphia & New York, going around the globe, and winding up in Los Angeles. It also includes an interesting discussion of Public Space.


124 responses to “Wk 5: Last Week Drawing, This Week Painting”

  1. adamshannah96yahoocom Avatar

    An interesting video that I found quite informative. To be honest I knew very little about graffiti as an art form. Living in the nicer side of Orange County, I never really encountered much graffiti, not even on apparel. My first exposure to it was my first time in San Francisco. I was walking into Chinatown, and on the side of a gray building was a huge blue and yellow dragon. It must have been twelve feet high and I found it fascinating. In this case, I thought this was a welcome introduction of energy and creativity to the city. There were other dragons painted all over the street. In alleys and on brick walls that would have otherwise been bare. This was graffiti that I think was a way to beautify an area, though It was more like a mural than the graffiti described mostly in this video. As for the video, though I liked that it showed many styles of graffiti and how it has spread through all corners of the globe, it was a bit lacking in all sides of those affected by graffiti. I thought that the video showed more both extremes of opinions towards others. Those who feel that graffiti should cover every public (emphasis on public, I know most of the artists frowned on tagging homes and businesses) space, and those on the opposite side, who felt graffiti does nothing but bring down the value of an area, and thinks it should all be painted over. I stand much more in the middle. I really like some forms of graffiti art, like what I saw in San Francisco. I like when it is used to to bring color and uniqueness to an area. But I think that artists should always ask for permission before being allowed to paint somewhere. I really see graffiti as a way many artists can express themselves in a place that is open for everyone. What I would really love to see and would completely support is more places where graffiti artists can legally paint what they please. Whether it be brick walls or blank billboards or some kind of paint-able subway I think it would help limit graffiti in places that it is illegal and would provide city artists a way to express their creativity. I would also like to see more businesses using graffiti artists to illustrate their buildings and add some more life to an otherwise gray, concrete city. I think graffiti is an art style that is often overlooked, but really should not be. It has some real beauty and can be in a way that brings enjoyment to others.

      1. beentiredblog Avatar

        Kayla Tafoya Sablan

        Hey Hannah! I don’t know much about graffiti either, but I could definitely appreciate it. especially after this documentary. I didn’t think it would be better than I thought it was gonna be actually, it was was really cool to watch. I’m not a fan of taggers who do nothing but uselessly vandalize spaces and places that are completely inappropriate. But artists like those in that doc were so talented. So are the ones that have painted the entire streets of L.A. They’re so cool to look at and see in person. The detailing and lettering are always so on point–it’s crazy. There is a line I can draw between street graffiti art and obnoxious tagging eye roll.

    1. moniquealcala Avatar

      Monique Alcala

      Hi Hannah!

      I once lived in Northern California and visited San Francisco often and I think you described San Francisco and the art that you encountered in China Town as the very essence of the city. It’s a place full of acceptance and joy which is why many flock to the city to experience the love, good vibes and the art that is embedded throughout. With this being said, I have also lived in cities which were not located in the safest parts of Los Angeles. The graffiti or the murals that are displayed across these areas are the types of graffiti that society deems as vandalism and illegal. I believe that I am also in between on whether graffiti is bad or good for a neighborhood. The graffiti, in my opinion, is an awesome form of self expression and a chance to decorate the city in a new and refreshing way, but I believe this can be done in agreement with the building owners. I think if the artist and the building owner could come to an agreement they could also advertise the business together while enhancing the aesthetics of the community which adds personality to the neighborhood. I loved the idea you had about introducing a blank space where artists could come and draw as they please. I think if they introduced this to areas where schools lacked funding for art programs the youth could come here and express themselves and their art and maybe not turn to vandalism as a way to express themselves.

    2. allison cruz Avatar

      Hi Hannah! I loved the graffiti art in San Fran as well! It was there that I first saw graffiti as an art form. I actually visited two museums while I was there and was able to buy around 5 different graffiti books from the gift shops! I pick them up sometimes and thumb through them. Some of them are from different areas all over the globe and it is amazing to see the differences in the technique and display of graffiti art and writing. But I do agree with you that if there were alternative/legal ways for the youth to express themselves it would be great- but I do not believe however that it would cut out vandalism and crime due to gangs and other group affiliations.

      1. jonathangirgis Avatar

        Jonathan Girgis

        Yeah I agree with both of you guys. I went to San Francisco this past summer and the graffiti art there was much more eye candy than some of the stuff you see here, to be honest. I also agree with Allison, I think just like for skateboarders, there should be a way for people who love to paint with a can to express themselves without penalty. It reminds of a Boondocks episode where one of the characters named Riley goes around trying to make art like this in his neighborhood, but taken to an extreme. Anyways, I also enjoyed the documentary. It was well done.

    3. irepbrian Avatar

      Brian Sath

      Hey! Interesting point that you brought up. Like the film said, Graffiti is everywhere and every place has it no matter what the background or ethnicity. I have only been to San Francisco once and I did not see that many graffiti drawings. It’s cool to know that you were able to see dragons actually being drawn. It just highlights the amount of culture and various diversity within graffiti art. I do agree that the film showed the extremes of both sides that participated in graffiti. I, myself, agree with you that being in the middle is the way to go. I feel like graffiti adds so much life to a city that is just a concrete gray jungle. On the other hand, there are gang members and other people who just graffiti stupid things. The public is an influential area for our younger generation, and we can’t have some things being shown. I totally agree that some graffiti would be nice and that you must get permission to actually add graffiti. It would be interesting to have businesses participate and actually make their buildings look beautiful!

  2. moniquealcala Avatar

    Monique Alcala

    I find it hard to watch movies due to the fact that I get bored easily, but I could not say the same about this documentary. It was interesting to watch this film shed light to an art form that is thought to be illegal. It is unfortunate to think that graffiti is a form of vandalism due to the fact that most pieces of graffiti can make a simple wall much more beautiful and add life to a neighborhood. At the beginning of the film someone is recorded stating that art is a weapon. This phrase seemed to resonate through my mind because art is so powerful that it could be potentially used as a weapon on the mind. The graffiti on the Berlin Wall is a great example of such art being a weapon. The wall is open for all to draw on but many have created artworks that promote hope, peace, and life after World War II. It’s hard to believe that such graffiti could impact the world but in fact the art on the wall has impacted politics and inspired the nation to become established. Similarly, this reminds me of Banksy. The England-based artist also considers himself a political activist through his art and quite frankly I agree. Through his satirical pieces of art I believe that he has caused a lot of the younger generation to become more involved in politics and to “stay woke”.

    1. Stephanie Arciva Avatar

      Stephanie Arciva
      Hi Monique! I completely agree with your comparison to graffiti as a weapon. As dangerous as a weapon may be, they are also used for protection. I would even go to the extent and mention as soon as someone has a weapon, they have authority. Through graffiti, people have the attention they need to make their statement and to make society aware of their intentions, whether this be a threatening move or a move of activism. I feel that we see this in so many areas of the world because people find graffiti a comfortable way to express themselves, whether it includes the excitement of climbing to the top of these buildings, or simply the comfort of something they enjoy doing. The quote that resonated with me the most from the movie was, “We learn a lot about ourselves when we paint.” I can imagine that everyone finds a different connection to graffiti and this connection means a lot of different things to everyone. I feel this all ties back to that idea of being involved that you mentioned. I feel that people found a way in through graffiti.

    2. Alex Miramontes Avatar
      Alex Miramontes

      In response to Monique’s comment, Banksy was someone that came to mind when I was watching the documentary. I became familiar with Banksy’s work after I watched his documentary, “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” If you really enjoyed this documentary and are a fan on Banksy’s work I strongly recommend that you watch the film on Netflix. Something that I enjoyed about Banksy was that we was extremely controversial, and questioned society and politics. I also agree how you mentioned that graffiti is meant to evoke emotions and thought, and I really like the example that you provided. Its sad how media quickly assumes that graffiti is a form of vandalism and violence without doing their research and understanding that is a form of expression for the people how are living in that community. I understand that some graffiti may be gang related, but some artist are just attempting to display and put their art out to the public. The streets of Los Angeles could be seen as a huge art gallery displaying the work of thousands of arts from the community. The reason Los Angeles is so iconic is because of the environment and artist element that these artist add to the city.

  3. Stephanie Arciva Avatar

    Stephanie Arciva
    I felt this movie was not simply about the art of Graffiti, but a form of expression throughout our world! I felt as if I had traveled to all those different places, experiencing their city, their lifestyle, and their people. I felt that graffiti was more than just some tagging on a wall. Through this form of art, many people tell their stories. People use graffiti to express themselves individually, they use graffiti as a code to their friends and family, or people use graffiti to represent their city. The movie exposed me to different styles of graffiti, but what I found in every story was how each individual was tied to their work. Personally, I never thought about the background when I saw graffiti, but I feel that is something a lot of people overlook. That is what is amazing about graffiti. People also find a way to use graffiti as a way to revolutionize their ideas on society. You can see this through the political ideas people mentioned, how their graffiti incorporated Cesar Chavez, or a war that did not involve “bullets and guns.” It has become this powerful form of communication and it sucks that people find it so controversial. In a lot of places including our society, they find this as criminal activity. It makes me wonder, in a land that lives on “freedom,” why is it that these people are constricted to what they are able to express. Their form of expression is different and I feel that sometimes society does not know how to handle it because they would rather not have these controversial opinions. From this video I found a greater appreciation in the art of graffiti, as well as many other forms of art, which I am sure artists work to convey their story.

    1. Tina Nguyen Avatar

      Hi Stephanie!
      I agree with you about the message in the video was not just about graffiti but amount it being a different way of expressing a message throughout the world. In the video, we go to different countries such as Brazil, and we see how people express themselves there through graffiti. I think just looking at the different artworks done by graffitiing was really eyeopening. I think they all look so nice for something that has such a negative connotation attached to it. I wish graffiti wasn’t illegal, so that more people can express themselves. However, with that being said, I understand why it is illegal because you wouldn’t want a whole bunch of bad words being sprayed throughout your community. I know that we have freedom, however, I believe that there are other forms of communication such as social media, that you can get your idea out rather than spray painting on walls. I believe that there is a place for everything in the world, and I do wish there were more places near me where graffiti is legal.
      -Tina Nguyen

    2. Nhi Truong Avatar

      Hi Stephanie,

      I agree with your perspective, saying that this documentary is a form of expression. Honestly, when you travel to these places, the graffiti is the aspect that makes it special. In the documentary, graffiti was born in more of the poorer parts of the community. These artists used graffiti as a getaway from their daily routine. It is a form of expression and a right they have. However, because their canvas is in a public area, graffiti then becomes a controversial topic. Its now a war between freedom of speech and expression vs. the city. I believe that graffiti really brings out the uniqueness of a city; it adds character.

  4. Tina Nguyen Avatar

    I grew up in a pretty diverse community. I was exposed to graffiti ever since I was little, but it always had a negative connotation attached to it. I remember in middle school, my school was vandalized. People painted bad words all over the school and the school’s principal as well as the teachers were upset about it. They wanted to find who was responsible for ruining the beautiful campus. I always attached negative thoughts to graffiti, I thought the people that would do such a thing were criminals. However, after watching the video, I realized pretty cool graffiti could be. The people in the video talked about how graffiti was like a way for them to express themselves to the authorities. I thought that was really fascinating because I never thought it that way. Going back to the story of my middle school being graffitied all over, I believe that the people who performed the act were trying to send our some message to the teachers. Maybe they were upset with the assignments and the tests and was having a hard time in school. I now realized that you don’t have to perform pretty art such as ceramics to express a deep message. Something as illegal and is always attached with a negative connotation such as graffiti could also portray a deep message.

      1. dannyvel23 Avatar

        Hi Tina,
        I agree with your thoughts on graffiti because I grew up with graffiti also being something only criminals did. It was always gang related and never really a form of art, unless that is still considered to be art. After this video I also realized there is so much more to graffiti rather than just gang names or violence. People express themselves through graffiti. Many of the arts shown have different messages than the graffiti I’m used to seeing. I have also learned that something as bad as graffiti can also portray a deep message.

    1. klauduso Avatar

      Hello Tina,

      When I grew up surrounded in graffiti everywhere, I also thought that there were a negative connotation. However, I agree with your statement and how graffiti is a way for someone to express themselves. Even if it’s just their name written on a playground set, it’s a way a child would express that perhaps they existed in the school. Also, foul language could be pointed to express their emotions towards someone/something.

    2. Jacqueline Sanchez Avatar
      Jacqueline Sanchez

      Jacqueline Sanchez

      Hello Tina,

      I can relate to your experience of having your school vandalized by graffiti because the same thing happened to many of the schools I attended. However, I felt the same way your principals and teachers felt about it, I thought that the people responsible for the graffiti were criminals who were perpetuating and promoting gang culture and crime. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any art or meaningful expression in the graffiti that I’ve had personal encounters with.

  5. alilovesart Avatar

    I was a little down this video was going to take 90 minutes to complete, but after just 5 minutes i was really tuned in, glad I watched it. This video really expressed to me what graffiti really is, rather then what society literally been told it is my whole life (vandalism). Its truly a beautiful way to express literally everything from stories, culture, preference, politics, and etc. When the video showed all these different countries an the different forms of graffiti in those countries it was almost as though I toured the country because the graffiti was so expressive and reflective on the different nations. I thought for example the Berlin was was really fascinating, the art on the wall was really able to capture history and express hardships the nation faced at times of absolute chaos. What I also found really interesting in this video was the way people are able to express them selves with there graffiti and how connected they were with there art, its really clear in the video how much more effective a message can be via graffiti, weather its a political message, story or whatever the viewer (myself) connect on a much higher level. On top of all of this what i found really touching in the video was how they explained that you literally are able to learn more about yourself and who you are what you need, what your looking for, through painting, it makes so much scene, cant wait try it out in this up coming activity

    1. Evan Burton Avatar


      Graffiti was always treated like a horrible sign that a neighborhood was deteriorating when I was younger. As I would ride BART into the city of San Francisco with my father and sister, we would see the poor outer-urban neighborhoods through the window. Covered with black graffiti, the prevalent taggings of city walls represented danger and hostility. Now that I am older, I see how inaccurate it is to judge a location based on its cultural differences from what you knew while growing up. Although tagging is technically an illegal act, it creates a sense of identity for the people who feel powerless and abandoned within their own residences. When it appears as if no one is listening to those who practice graffiti art, creating a public art display reminds everyone that they still have something to say. If a mural is made from spray paint on the side of a building, it is almost certainly made by the people, unlike nearly everything else we constantly see as we go through our day.

  6. Nhi Truong Avatar

    Nhi Truong

    Honestly, when I saw that this video was 90 minutes long, I was a little disheartened. However, when I started to watch, I found out that this documentary was very interesting. Before this, I just knew graffiti as an illegal act (because I lived in the OC and the people that did graffiti at my school were caught by the police). This documentary showed two sides of the story: the bombers and the police. The way the bombers aka graffiti artists talked about graffiti showed that it was more than just “tagging”, it was a form of expression; it was art. Graffiti was basically their way of taking on the world in their own way. Like what was stated in the video, they don’t ask for the wall, they take it. Now, another side of the story calls for the end of graffiti. In the police perspective, graffiti is a gateway crime that can lead to more serious matter. It also affects the community because it causes fear of crime. One thing that made me really think was the fact that many graffiti artist defend their actions by saying it is human instinct to write on walls. It is true because if we look back to B.C. times, art started with writing on walls. I don’t think graffiti should be looked down upon, especially because it is an art from that allows people to voice their opinions. However, I do think it should be controlled.

    1. kayaquarles Avatar

      Hi Nhi,
      I also believe that graffiti shouldn’t be looked down upon, but it should definitely be controlled. If there were open spaces that allowed for these artists to tag and express themselves then maybe society would have a different viewpoint on it. However, maybe part of the rush these artists get is the fact that they might get caught, and that way they know that people will see their work. I don’t think that graffiti is a gateway crime, but I do think that it can negatively affect a community. Overall, I think that graffiti is a form of art that shouldn’t be stop but it should be regulated. The documentary shed light on the different perspectives and I appreciate that.

      Kaya Quarles

    2. amanateeseawarrior Avatar

      Amanda Martinez

      Hi Nhi! I agree with you that graffiti should be controlled and there should be more places like the Venice Beach art walls. However, I do not think it is human instinct to write on walls. I think it is human instinct to want to express yourself. In the B.C. times average people may not have had access to the same things the average person has today such as paper or piece of cardboard. Today it is very easy to get at least a piece of paper it does not even have to be really good quality it will still allow someone the opportunity to express themselves without vandalizing an area.

      1. Joy Uba Avatar

        Hi Amanda! I do agree with what you and Nhi said about that graffiti should be controlled. If people have the freedom to do graffiti everywhere, this can cause some problems. I also agree with what you said about how it is not a human instinct to write on walls, but it is a human instinct to want to express yourself. Many people have that want to express themselves and be heard, and one of the options they have that are cheap and convenient to do is graffiti. If they have a spray can, they’re good to go. If there are more places to do graffiti legally, there would be less problem on getting caught doing graffiti anywhere else.

  7. seewhychris Avatar

    Christopher Yuen

    Watching this video on the history of graffiti really set off something in me. Growing up in Oakland, graffiti is almost seen everywhere, and is completely normal. Being a breakdancer, I’ve learned that graffiti is also one of the four elements of hip hop and I consider it a very valued art form. To many people, it might be seen as disrespectful or vandalism which I completely understand if someone has a business or shop that was illegally painted over but as with all things, graffiti can be used beneficially or detrimentally. Just because a group of people decide to use graffiti in a negative manner, does not mean that the entire art form should be shunned for it. I like how the video expanded on how graffiti is just another way for the people to express their emotions and a message. They use this art to express their feelings towards authoritative figures and to the world.

    1. amysongblog Avatar

      Hi Christopher,
      I agree with your point that graffiti should not be shunned only because of a small group of people. I do think it is an art form and should be valued as an art form. Graffiti allows people of different cultures and genders to come together to express themselves. Many people in the video mentioned graffiti was a way to release their thoughts when they were younger because they did not have programs to help them. The video shows people talking about how graffiti is a gateway crime to bigger crimes, but if graffiti was not illegal and was not viewed negatively, then it would not be a crime, it would just be another form of art.

      Amy Song

    2. adamshannah96yahoocom Avatar

      Hi Amy,
      Graffiti is definitely an important form of art that should be recognized as such. If the basic definition of it is art on walls, then it has existed since the dawn of mankind, though it has certainly evolved over that time. As long as it’s done in a legal space, then I think it is an amazing way for anyone to display their art or message in a place that is open to the public. Most works that are considered art are hung in museums. But this requires high skill and often schooling. Also not everyone will be able to see it, particularly if the museum has an entrance fee. In the case of graffiti, not only is it open to the public, but a graffiti artist has no barriers to putting his art on a wall, like at the Venice art walls. All they need is some spray paint and a message they want to give to the public. I like graffiti art because it is art from the public to the public, and it often reflects the attitudes and struggles of those viewing it. It would be excellent if views could change, and more spaces for legal graffiti writing could be created.
      -Hannah Adams

  8. amysongblog Avatar

    Amy Song

    Before watching this video, I did not really have an opinion on graffiti. I have seen them when I am in LA but never really paid attention. There was always a negative connotation to graffiti and the graffiti writers. It has always been associated with crime and gangs and violence. However, recently(about a few years ago), I went hiking with some friends and we found an old water tank covered in graffiti and we thought it was really cool. After watching this video, I gained a new perspective on graffiti and learned a lot about it. I am beginning to appreciate graffiti as an art form. First of all I was really surprised to learn that graffiti began with one person from Philadelphia. Also I was surprised how in seemingly every country there were graffiti writers. It was really interesting to see how graffiti has connected people. Another interesting point was that graffiti has existed for thousands of years. People in ancient times have been writing and drawing on walls just like people do now. I don’t think lawmakers are handling graffiti correctly. By making graffiti illegal it is not helping in reducing the number of people vandalizing things. I think there should be more spaces, like the walls in Venice Beach, where it welcomes graffiti writers. On the other end, I don’t think graffiti writers should be writing on people’s homes or cars. Overall, I think more people should appreciate graffiti as an art form and stop criminalizing graffiti writers, and more spaces should be open to graffiti writers.

    1. Monica Lock Avatar

      Hi Amy!
      I agree with the point you made about gaining a new perspective on graffiti! Although I didn’t go on a hike, I also gained a new perspective on graffiti after watching this video and doing the graffiti activity. I also thought graffiti had a negative connotation to it such as increase of gangs and crimes in that area. You made a good point that illegalizing graffiti won’t reduce the number of vandalism committed in a city. I think that no matter how many regulations lawmakers try to pass, it won’t change the mindset of graffiti artists. The video not only showed who the artists were, but what was going through their mind. It didn’t occur to me that were nervous of the consequences like Cornbread when everyone else thought he died, but he ended up putting Cornbread lives all over the city.

    2. Marysol Jimenez Avatar

      Hi Amy!
      I agree with your comment, also being from LA seeing graffiti on the streets always gave me a negative connotation. I believed that all graffiti was related to gangs and gang violence. I always thought that it was just a way to mark their territory. After watching this documentary I realized that graffiti is just a way to express yourself. It does not always have to be about gangs, there is a meaning to every piece of art. More people should learn to appreciate this form of art instead of simply criminalizing it and automatically making a negative perception towards the piece of art.

    3. seewhychris Avatar

      Hey Amy,
      I like how you mentioned that graffiti has connected people all across the world. It makes me wonder how it feels to begin something that would later be valued all around the world and have so much impact on the art community. It’s also very true that graffiti existed for so many thousands of years, but just in a different form which of painting. I believe it is just in our nature to want to express messages to a wide audience and graffiti accomplishes that goal. I agree that making graffiti illegal will not stop people from doing it, and that if it was just accepted and supported by the government/lawmakers, we would be able to spread the art form positively. Having the funds to produce more areas for art would be a much more viable and positive option.

    4. Adrian Munoz Avatar

      Hello Amy,
      I couldn’t agree more. My parents, as I was a child, constantly tell my writing on walls were just something gross and intolerable. As I saw this video and graffiti around LA, I just say to myself, wow what beautiful work. I understand some graffiti may be gang related, but just the art and time they put in it, just can’t be only seen as intolerable. I also think it has to do with the time and effort the artist put in the work, because if its just scribbles and just there to conquer territory then ill see it as a negative connotation. I also agree in the fact that graffiti on a home shouldn’t happen, there should be more spots like Venice Beach or the water tower. Graffiti is awesome and it shouldn’t be viewed as a negative connotation.

  9. dannyvel23 Avatar

    I grew up with graffiti being a thing criminals would do to get attention. Ever since I can remember graffiti was always used to express bad words or name a gang. Almost every where I went names of different gangs some with lines across them. Usually every restroom I went in had some kind of gang related graffiti. It was on tables, on walls, in classrooms, and any place people could make graffiti on. Since I grew up with graffiti being this way I never seemed to see it as art until I seen the same writing but showing positives messages. Although this form of art is used to express emotions it is hard for me to see this as art because many graffiti drawings that have no gang messages are always tagged on.

    1. Carlos Villicana Avatar

      It is sad that lots of people’s graffiti art ends up getting tagged on. I recently saw a beautiful mural on the side of a bodega but found myself unable to truly appreciate it because I was more worried about when it would get tagged on and ruined. I also grew up believing it to only be a thing that gangs participated in, but graffiti is much more complicated than that. I believe graffiti is art because of how it is used to express feelings and opinions that the artists have. Many of the people who graffiti may just not have access to another outlet to express themselves. Others may see graffiti as the only outlet where they will be heard. Graffiti is very “in your face,” which may understandably alienate people. But I would challenge those who do not view graffiti as art to hear out those who make graffiti and try to understand why they make graffiti. Perhaps trying to engage with the graffiti art itself can help one see it as art, even if it has unfortunately been tagged on by others.

    2. Christian Gallo Avatar
      Christian Gallo

      Hi Danny,
      I agree I never seen graffiti as a from of art because society had a negative view on people who tag especially at a young age.I believe that people can’t truly appreciated graffiti if it is associated with gangs, especially if their tagging has no style or design to it. Gangs mostly tag to claim territory but some graffiti artist do it to express themselves and show people that they were there.

  10. Monica Lock Avatar

    Monica Lock, 1pm
    Bomb It, was enjoyable to watch because I didn’t know a lot about graffiti prior to the video. I have been exposed to graffiti by seeing them on billboards and along the freeway, but I didn’t put too much thought into it. Many graffiti artists mentioned that graffiti was used to express themselves.I thought it was interesting that some of the artists from New York mentioned that New Yorkers don’t live in New York because they were boring, living in cookie cutter neighborhoods. I agree that I do think that graffiti adds character to a city; the colorful paint and elaborate, bubbly letters is always unique and different on every surface. It also adds a new perspective to the subways and The video also mentioned artists from all over the world such as Paris, France and Tokyo, Japan. Of all the places mentioned, these two stood out to me the most because I didn’t expect there to be graffiti in these places. Black and white stencils of rats and humans are displayed endlessly throughout Paris, France which was created by an older man. In Tokyo, Japan, a female with a baby, used graffiti to relieve her anger and eventually used it to express her positivity. If it weren’t for this video, I would have assumed graffiti is done by young delinquents who use graffiti to vandalize property just because they can.

    1. Jasmine Figueroa Avatar

      Hi Monica! Prior to watching this video I also always had the mentality that most people out doing graffiti were mostly delinquents, and although I had heard of them being considered artists as well, I never really got an inside look at the word of these people simply trying to express themselves in such a public space. Like you said, graffiti can add character to a city, and though the art itself varies from city to city, the messages or emotions the artists may be trying to convey are universal, and can relate to various people. Emotions such as grief, joy, frustration, among others are released out into the public eye and are simply a form of expression, that to some continues to be viewed as problematic.

  11. Marysol Jimenez Avatar

    Living in the city of Compton, I grew up looking at graffiti almost everywhere. The graffiti I saw and still see here in Compton is mostly taggings that have to do with gangs marking their territory; thus I grew up with a negative perception of graffiti. If someone were to ask me what graffiti was I would automatically think of gang taggings. This documentary made me look at graffiti in a whole different level. Having the chance to see graffiti as a different type of art around the whole world made me have a different perception about it. Hearing people talk about the meaning behind their art made me actually think. Some people tag about political problems, social problems and even personal feelings and emotions they might be going through. This video also made me realize that graffiti does not have to be just letters or words it can be drawings/pictures as well. Next time that I am driving through the city I am really going to pay attention to the graffiti art on walls and other places, take time and admire it and not just assume that it is gang related like the graffiti I am used to seeing around my hometown.

    1. Ana Maya Avatar

      Hi Marysol! I completely agree with you. I also have associated graffiti with gang violence in the past. However, I know that not all graffiti is gang related. Like you said, graffiti artist can tag a wall about political and social issues, or even personal feelings or emotions. I hope that people become more open-minded about this topic and stop giving graffiti art a negative connotation.

    2. lozano1021 Avatar

      Araceli Lozano

      Hey Marysol,
      I definitely can relate, growing up in North Long Beach I was exposed to graffiti as well. There was definitely a lot of gang taggings marking there territory from rival gangs as well as tagging crews marking their turf. But I was also exposed to the beauty and passion that these graffiti artist have. I grew up with many peers who loved doing graffiti and going out and finding places where they could go all out and create a awesome piece. They also carried around a black drawing book and markers (but these special types of markers, my mind is blanking out on the name of it) and they would tag in it and then pass it on to fellow graffiti artist and it was awesome to see what they created.In highschool is when i began to see graffiti diffrently and admire it more, not only because the peices look amazing, but because sometimes they will go tag in areas that have you baffaled on how they got up there and how they did that lol (fwys, billboards, crazy places lol )

    3. laurajlockett Avatar

      Hey Marysol !

      I grew up thinking the same thing about graffiti art that you did, that it was a sign of gang tags. Watching the video definitely opened my eyes to the real world of graffiti art and not just the Long Beach and Compton versions of it. I never really payed a lot of attention to the graffiti because most of it is tags and I would automatically associate it with bad people but i guess when I am walking down the street I need to really open my eyes to the art that is surrounding me.

    4. Vincent Santos Avatar

      Hey Marysol yeah i see why you think graffiti is bad but they is some good about it too. I have family and friends that do graffiti as an art form, they dont do anything gang related. Sometime I would walk around and notice the graffiti on the wall and see how much detail they put into it. sometime i wonder how long it took them, but im pretty sure they do it fast so they dont get caught.

  12. Ana Maya Avatar

    Before I watched this documentary, graffiti, in my mind was something that I considered to be somewhat negative. I say somewhat because I know that not all graffiti is violence/gang related. Growing up in Long Beach, I’ve been exposed to graffiti, but I wouldn’t say it’s like New York, Los Angeles or Philadelphia, where graffiti art is much more common. However, as I saw walls decorated with graffiti in poor neighborhoods, I often associated it with vandalism as well. I never saw it as art, like the way I do with poetry, music or a painting. With watching this documentary, I am more informed on how graffiti has become such a huge part of culture and a prominent future in urban landscapes. Graffiti artists are expressing themselves, whether it’s just a simple tag or a large mural. Like stated in the documentary, “human culture has been identifying themselves on walls,” whether it’s a cave painting from thousands of years ago, or a wall full of graffiti art in downtown Long Beach. Other than being informed on the history of graffiti art, I also enjoyed the fact that this documentary also included information on how graffiti art has spread to places like Paris, Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, Tokyo and other parts around the world. It also highlighted the importance of speaking for the youth, racism, and political issues through graffiti art. Overall, I enjoyed this documentary and I am now more openminded about graffiti art.

    1. Demi Kong Avatar
      Demi Kong

      Hi Ana! Like you, while I did not see graffiti as completely negative, the instances I did see in Long Beach strongly attached itself to negativity. With the way graffiti is often presented, it is initially hard to see it as an art like poetry, music, or painting. These three forms of art are not always perfect though because like graffiti, there are instances of them being crude and spreading hate like we might see in graffiti. Graffiti is just like these three forms of art except more accessible by the public and especially the youth. Graffiti being a “prominent feature in urban landscapes” is a very good statement. You can see graffiti in about every modern, big city due to the amount of people present. The comparison between cave paintings and current graffiti is compelling because art absolutely makes its way through time. I believe they are essentially the same, just evolved. I think I am more open minded about graffiti art too!

    2. Melissa Rios Avatar

      Hey Ana,

      I can see why you saw graffiti as a negative thing. Not only is it vandalism, but it can get violent and gang related at times. Just like you, I have never really seen to much of graffiti here in Norwalk. However, I’ve seen many tagging, murals, and writing in Los Angeles, and other nearby cities.
      I’m glad that the documentary changed the way you see graffiti and that it isn’t always a bad thing. When I think of art, I only think about the ability of creating something. Street artist, are creating art on the streets day and night. Some are willing to put their life on the line in order to create their piece of art.

  13. Jasmine Figueroa Avatar

    I find it interesting how it was mentioned that graffiti isn’t uniquely a modern art form, but has had its root in ancient times. Although we may not initially think of it this way, just as the narrator mentions, in the end these ancient works were “telling a story,” much like modern graffiti art does. It is a way of identifying yourself among a larger group of people, and quite literally leaving your mark. Progressively, this form of expression got more and more attention from the authorities and became known as a “gateway crime,” even though not all tagging is bad, it was perceived as only being linked to delinquent behavior, and not art. Sometimes it may carry a political message, such as the struggles and concerns of the people. Graffiti art can be found throughout the world in places like Paris, Tokyo, Amsterdam, and countless others, which only goes to show just how powerful this art form is. It is a sort of universal language that can be found all around the world, varying in style, but carrying the same “I am here, this is who I am,” message.

    1. Selena Lara Avatar

      I really liked how you said that graffiti is perceived as being linked delinquent because before this film I was the person that believed that ! I thought it was something only hood babies did and immediately always attached a negative connotation to it. Because I was always exposed to graffiti and told by my parents that thats what I wasn’t supposed to do I never really saw it as you described a political message or someone’s struggles and concerns. After, hearing a couple artist say that to them graffiti was the birth of human consciousness, I too thought back to ancient times. Specifically I thought about the cave drawings we discussed last week funny how its all connected. I wonder if years from now some of the graffiti walls will be hailed as almost everyone now sees cave art as beautiful and expressive. Because as of now there are people who see graffiti as I did before.

    2. alilovesart Avatar

      Wow, yes I definitely agree with you as well. You can definitely see you point with examples such as the Berlin wall, when people during WWII were literately expressing there feeling of suppression and writing down history. Its amazing to see how this form of art can carve history into stone, and the amount of credibility and authenticity art like this has is priceless. I also agree with you on the crime thing, it defiantly does have a reputation for only gangstas doing it, but this video was quick to show me otherwise.

  14. lozano1021 Avatar

    I really enjoyed watching Bomb It. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen graffiti look that awesome. Usually now I just see tagging on walls by gangs, or by tagging crews just putting their name up. But actual pieces that have those colors and different lines and shading brought back many good high school memories. Even hearing Immortal Technique in the background just brought it home lol. Back in high school and maybe as early as middle school I remember starting to look at graffiti differently. An early memory I have is passing by in the fwy and seeing that someone had done a piece on the fwy that ran on top of the bottom fwy. It made me curious of how they were able to do that and how long it took them to do it. It wasn’t just a tag it was actual graffiti with different colors and intricate lines. But it astonished me because I couldn’t t really figure out how they were able to pull it off lol. Growing up having many friends that were into graffiti,definitely has a lot to do with me associating graffiti in a positive way rather than a negative way.

    1. yonathansahle Avatar

      Yeah I really enjoyed the video Bomb It as well. When I was younger I too saw some graffiti in my neighborhood but it wasn’t really art but rather just tagged names of gangs or somebody just representing themselves. I like that you mentioned Immortal Technique having an affect on you, I used to listen to Immortal Technique a lot when I was in community college and he had a big impact on hip hop culture. I can relate to you when you mentioned the early memories of passing by the freeways and seeing graffiti. I think its crazy and cool that whoever did that piece of graffiti on the top of the bottom freeway. That person had to be a real artist and had passion to get it done.

  15. Selena Lara Avatar

    Bomb it made me really reflect on how I view graffiti. Before watching this movie I always had this idea that graffiti was indeed a crime and not a form of expression. I remember myself pissed because the kids down the street graffiti on the wall and it said “ Free Eddie”. I remember saying he’s probably locked up for a reason those people are crazy and that’s so ugly. I essentially was that guy in the film pissed off because they tagged on his store doors. I realize now, that those kids were only expressing concern for a loved one, that yes is locked up but is still a human being. As discussed in the film, to those kids it was a way saying “Hello world” we are people and we exists. I absolutely loved how they showed that graffiti isn’t only a form of expression in “criminal” cities like Compton but all around the world. Because everywhere in the world there is an artist trying to bring about a revolution, a person only trying to transcend their boundaries. An individual that wants to tell there story on how they survived in the world they believe has a problem. To some people graffiti represented life and strength and their getaway because of it I feel guilty over holding a negative connotation of what graffiti really is. Because of all the artists in the film I now feel that now I have to look at the story behind whatever graffiti I came across.

    1. brianamgblog Avatar

      Selena, I don’t think you’re alone on that at all. I’m sure most people would react the same if they saw graffiti on the street, including myself. Growing up I was exposed to a lot of graffiti writing because I grew up in Compton where my grandparents live. It was everywhere. I would drive to their house and see it all over stores, houses and cars. That I would say is a bit extreme. I think over the years the meaning changed. After watching the video, I saw what it meant initially. Like you said, it was a form of expression. There was a message or purpose for it and that is pretty cool. I don’t think you should feel guilty because not a lot of people knew that, I know I didn’t. Also, not everyone who participates in graffiti writing does it for these reasons which is why I believe it is now illegal in certain areas. It’s something that’s hard to control. It would be cool if there were more areas like the Venice beach art walls.

      ~ Briana Garcia

    2. johncrewsavage Avatar

      John Savage

      Hi Selena

      When I was younger and saw graffiti I thought the exact same thing as you, wow that’s ugly why would anyone do that. But as I got older I realized that it is a form of expression and showing of one’s identity through art. After watching the video with it showing that graffiti’s original purpose was for someone to express themselves it made the whole thing even cooler to me. I too will now wonder the story behind the graffiti I see in my everyday life.

  16. brianamgblog Avatar

    Briana Garcia 1pm

    Someone in the film said that “graffiti writing started at the birth of human consciousness” and that was something that caught my attention because it makes sense. They compared graffiti writing to cave art and the drawing on an Egyptian pyramid. It was the same concept, people traveling to places and leaving their mark behind. When they started talking about how people started writing on subways, I saw how a subway was like a cave back then. A man said that they used to call refer to a subway as a “museum on wheels” and to me that sounds pretty cool. It was a place where many people going and coming from different places could share a common interest and communicate. According to the film, not everyone felt that way. When the police began to “criminalize” it, they restricted graffiti in subways and in the streets because they believed it would evoke more crimes. It gave off the impression that no one was in control of the system. But others went disregarded it and went underground. One of the guys in the film said he turned to subway tunnels because although it was dangerous, he said it was peaceful and safe at the same time.

    One of the things they mentioned that really made me think was when one man said “there are so many other things that we could be doing…worse crimes. if it wasn’t for graff who knows where I’d be”. And I think this is true. If young adults are coming together to do something that helps them express themselves, something they’re passionate about, and something that keeps them from doing worse things then why make it illegal? For many kids that come from difficult backgrounds, this is their escape. But at the same time, how can the system control what is being written and who determines what is appropriate or not? Who gets to determine where it is safe to graffiti write and how do we know people will stick to it? I’m stuck in the middle. It’s one of those things that many people would disagree on. All in all, I think it’s cool how so many people had this one thing in common.

  17. kayaquarles Avatar

    Kaya Quarles

    The documentary “Bomb It” changed my perspective on graffiti. I had always viewed graffiti on store fronts as vandalism and I felt bad for the people that had to clean it up, but never minded the graffiti on abandoned buildings or walls (like in Venice.) After watching the film, I became more open minded to the idea that this is a form of expression and many use graffiti as their voice. I never really thought of graffiti existing everywhere and comparing it to cave art but now that I think of it, it is really one in the same. I also didn’t know the range of people that use graffiti as a form of art, for example the lady from Japan or the older man in France that used graffiti, and I think that is because here we are cultured to believe that graffiti is done by young delinquents. Graffiti brings color to boring walls and tells a story. This is seen at the Berlin Wall. A lot of people write on the wall for “bragging rights” but many artists used the wall to promote peace after World War II. I think there should be more places that are open to the idea of this version of self expression so that society can eventually become more open to graffiti. I have always loved the intricate detailing of this street art, but after watching the film I will appreciate it even more.

    1. yulitorres21 Avatar

      Yuliana Torres

      Hey Kaya!
      I felt the same way as you did. When I found graffiti on store fronts and highways, I would be enraged by there destructive doings. I thought to myself, “the worst part is, someone has to clean that up, or waste money to cover it up”. Until I had the epiphany of there reasoning. I thought to myself “why highways?” So many people use the freeway to get to work, that means those people would have to see there graffiti almost everyday. Hoping that at some point, there graffiti will be their attention towards, to express there meaning. I agree with you, as graffiti is a form of expression and voice.

    2. roxannnechav Avatar

      Hey Yuliana,!
      I would always think that too like when ever I seen graffiti and someone cleaning it up in the city, it would break my heart because the people cleaning it have to get paid for it and while the city is paying for there service that money could of gone to other uses. Such as a new neighborhood park or services that would benefit the community as a whole. I also never thought of the reasoning why people did graffiti on highways but as you said people are on the highways all the time they see it maybe everyday. And your right some artist maybe did that as a form to grab someones attention, to maybe express there thoughts or to maybe just share there art for others to see. Graffiti is a form of art that has positive expressions and even though it might be negatively view due to its stereotypes it should receive more credit for it is not an easy task to do graffiti writing.

  18. yonathansahle Avatar

    I thought that Bomb It was a great video that gave a great perspective on a form of art that has such a bad image. When I say it has a bad image I mean that society and the law deems graffiti to be a negative form of art and that it is something that is against law and should result in jail. I liked that in this video the creator went into detail and featured the original graffiti artists and got to interview them to see their thoughts. I liked hearing how some of the guys like cornbread got their names and seeing their unique signatures was cool too, that adds personality and identity to they artwork. Some people think of graffiti as something that is just vandalizing, I enjoyed that this video explored the creative art and the detailed description of how graffiti artists I liked when they were explaining how the artists use letters and stretch, bend, elongate, and really exaggerate and personalize a word by defining every letter. I personally see a lot of graffiti when I drive around LA, especially downtown LA, and sometimes I cant breakdown what the word says because the artist chose to really exaggerate the shapes of the letters.

    It was also interesting when one of the artists explained how he disagrees with the law enforcement’s ways of continuously trying to track down these artists when there are people out in the world doing real crime. I agree with his point, there are many more legitimate crimes being done all over the country like white collar crimes. Instead of setting the law and putting these people in the white collar industry who commit crimes that have a larger affect on society, the law enforcement chooses to punish those who put some paint on a wall. White collar crime has a much bigger affect and should be addressed with some sort of punishment more so than graffiti artwork.

    Another idea that I liked from Bomb It was the graffiti on the trains. I think it looks cool to have graffiti on freeways walls but I also think that seeing graffiti on trains is even more dope. I liked learning about the origins of the graffiti art and hearing what those artists had to say. I’ve recently got into graffiti about 5-6 months ago and might do some graffiti artwork in my patio on some wooden boards and see what art I can do.

    1. Raylyn Diep Avatar

      Raylyn Diep
      I totally agree with you!! I like how the video creator interviewed a wide variety of graffiti artists. I also thought that the best part of the video was definitely the trains with graffiti art on them. It must have looked amazing as their art pieces are going around the city. Graffiti artists can draw on anything and make it look absolutely amazing. These graffiti artists really put their all into their artworks. Whenever I’m on the freeway and go through the underpass, I always see graffiti writings everywhere. It looks really unique and cool when they have their own style of tagging when writing their names.

  19. laurajlockett Avatar

    Laura Lockett (1pm)

    I am going to be completely honest, when I first looked at the “Bomb It” video I was anything but excited because of the length. Once i began watching it seemed like the time was just flying by with all the interesting artwork and people introducing their own tags. Growing up in Long Beach I have always known that graffiti existed but by the society norms you are taught that it is the troublemakers that are doing all of the graffiti. It was taught as a negative aspect of art instead of embracing the positive aspects of it. Driving down the freeway or the streets of downtown Long Beach you become aware of just how many graffiti artist there are in Long Beach and the messages that they are putting out there. I am glad that I watched Bomb It because it gives me a new perspective of where graffiti art originated instead of thinking that it originated with gangs which is what many of us thought. I was surprised by just how great some of these people were with using their creativity to create something beautiful and memorizing.

  20. samueldelacruzblog Avatar

    Samuel De La Cruz

    This documentary of graffiti called “Bomb It” showed us the history and culture of graffiti art that started in America and made its way around the world. Graffiti can be considered a sub-culture in which individuals feel the need to express their art on walls, structures, and objects in public areas. It is its own form of art that has been born from illegally spray painting on walls that is considered vandalism which is the reason people frown upon it. I think this video is great because it gives you the point of view of the people that participate in graffiti and you can hear their personal points of view on this art. It shows the artistic side of graffiti to be a new art form that can be a great way to express how you feel or to be able to make a boring plain wall into a work of art. I also really liked how the video showed you how graffiti has spread all over the world. In France, an older gentleman that has been doing graffiti for a few decades, he paints rats around the city to symbolize that rats are completely free. In Germany, the Berlin wall was tagged with messages of peace at first but then it eventually became its own graffiti as well. In South Africa, the people used spray paint on walls to voice their concerns about politics and it eventually became graffiti as well as time passed by. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, the people first started copying American graffiti but then they felt that they needed to personalize it. The people used their own art to beautify the city because it is a forgotten area of Brazil. Also in Spain people paint murals on walls expressing their art being unique to themselves. In Los Angeles there is also a couple different art forms of graffiti. There is the Chicano art that started in the zoot suit era using old English letters. It eventually got picked up by gangs and they use it to mark their territories. However, there has been taggers that go out and paint murals, tag messages, tag names, or new school art on walls and buildings around the city. I personally feel that if the governments would designate areas of public space that graffiti is allowed it would help people. This art would be more appreciated by people and making the areas unique to its culture that it represents by the locals. It can turn run down areas into bright and vibrant areas full of art uplifting people in its surroundings. This video definitely made me appreciate graffiti more than I previously did before.

  21. yulitorres21 Avatar

    Yuliana Torres

    This international graffiti and street art documentary was very interesting to watch. Graffiti is unfortunately illegal in most areas, however graffiti is appreciated by so many, as they view it as a form of art. Graffiti is a modern symbol for the term “tag”. Tagging has an immense influence in recognizing street art as a tool for defeating the resentment and frustration the tagger may be encountering. Tagging has revolutionized as a weapon over the years. It is tragic that graffiti may be interpreted as vandalism in some cases. However, I do believe that in attempts to make art through the form of graffiti on a blank public space, it must acquire permission to be granted. I see two different forms of graffiti when I am walking down downtown Long Beach and Los Angeles. For one, I see a beautiful art work that emphasizes a meaning and/ or creativity that expresses emotions for the audience. And I see another form of graffiti that involves curse words. I believe that making art has two different pathways; a positive and negative route. In the beginning of the film, someone states that “art is a weapon” and is given the example of the Berlin Wall. The wall is open for anyone to express there art that only promotes hope and peace after World War II. Positive graffiti can establish a community and nation to become one.

  22. Raylyn Diep Avatar

    Raylyn Diep
    The first word that comes into my head when I hear graffiti is illegal. Growing up, my parents and people around me always told me that doing these kinds of things are illegal and dangerous. When I think about, I just soaked in that information without really thinking about it at all. As I watched this video, it changed my perspective on graffiti. I respect that these people are doing graffiti to express something to others. They want to show and prove to people that they too exist; that they are not invisible. There are so many amazing artworks made in the video that make me instantly amazed at how beautiful it is. However, I don’t agree with those who do graffiti on other people’s doors or oven schools and such. I am pretty sure that the graffiti artists themselves won’t like it either if someone drew all over their door without permission. In one part of the video, a graffiti artist was talking about the billboards and ads all over the city. He strongly believed that graffiti is the right kind of art to have around the city, not the billboards of half naked people. Overall, graffiti writing is amazing and beautiful to look at; especially those that are long murals on the wall. These graffiti artists literally sacrifice their lives to made these amazing artworks.

    1. superyessi Avatar

      Yesenia Hernandez

      Raylyn I agree with you. Graffiti in school and homes is not acceptable. People who write in these locations just destroy the appearance of these locations with minuscule tags. The beauty of graffiti are the big, elaborate creations, not scribbles on a door. It is amazing that graffiti artists are using this art form as a political statement. I have seen plenty of billboards along the freeway and throughout cities with graffiti imposing a message about the billboard. It takes intelligence and awareness to create such meaningful pieces. I love that graffiti is a form of protest and identity. Graffiti should be given more credit and equally adored as other forms of art. Taggers are not just dumb teenagers.

  23. johncrewsavage Avatar

    John Savage

    Growing up I always saw graffiti as something punk teenagers did to just ruin someone’s building. This video helped finalize my opinions on graffiti. It is a form of art and expression of identities and opinions. The first time I started to change my opinion on graffiti was when my dad paid a man to paint his building, in the artist district of LA, with graffiti art. When it was finished i really thought it was cool and definitely not something ruining the building. Seeing what these graffiti artists make to express themselves was really cool and beautiful and I enjoyed this film very much.

    1. Marlene Rodriguez Avatar

      Hey John! I agree with you I used to have really negative thoughts about graffiti writing just because I was always surrounded with graffiti writing made from gangs. I think once I was exposed to a different environment and saw how nice graffiti art could actually be I really changed my mind and saw that not everyone had the intentions of vandalizing buildings but more of trying to express themselves and share their art with others!

  24. Carlos Villicana Avatar

    Just this past Friday, I was in Los Angeles. While down there, I got to look at a lot of graffiti. I looked at them and found myself in awe while I thought of what immense effort and dedication it must have taken to craft these beautiful and often unappreciated works. I felt like the graffiti added life to the streets and buildings that would otherwise look dirty, old and abandoned. I left feeling like graffiti was art, even if I didn’t understand it. “Bomb It” helped me understand it and appreciate it in a way I never had before. In learning about the people who create graffiti art, you get to understand their art itself. It was incredible to see that graffiti is its own culture with history, language, and meaning. One may see the people talking about their graffiti in this documentary and think they are criminals who steal from people and are unintelligent, but they’re quite the opposite. These people are intelligent and more engaged with the world around them than many people I’ve encountered at schools! People were using graffiti to reject the excessive images of the media and to talk about political issues. They were quite literally living by the “art is a weapon” mantra. It’s unfortunate that graffiti has the bad reputation it does, because it can be incredibly beautiful and serve as a creative outlet that keeps people out of much worse trouble. I understand some people’s anger over having their walls tagged, so I do hope that more people simply get permission to use the wall(s) (even though some graffiti artists in the movie would argue that doing so would be against the spirit of graffiti itself). I liked that the movie took a tour around the world and history of graffiti, each area with its own personalities that the viewers could attach themselves to. I found myself connecting more with the artists who used graffiti to add life to the streets and say something about the world they live in. The documentary left me wanting to go admire some graffiti art now that I understand more about the art itself.

    P.S. this documentary got bonus points with me for the citing of John Carpenter’s “They Live!” It’s a great movie, I highly recommend it to all.

  25. superyessi Avatar

    Yesenia Hernandez

    I grew up with graffiti artists or taggers as they liked to be called and have always been intrigued by this form of art. I had actually seen clips of this documentary before on YouTube. Thus growing up with graffiti, I have been torn by my adoration of it and it destruction of public spaces. It is beautiful, but I know a criminal act. I disagree with the view that graffiti artists are gang affiliated. It is not true and many graffiti artists stay far away from gang relations. All the taggers I have known never aligned themselves with a gang. I do understand how a crew can be misinterpreted and cause rivalry though. It is dangerous to be a tagger in gang inflicted communities and they must be careful where they write. Although, I support graffiti it can make a city look “ugly”. The big beautiful and elaborate pieces are wonderful but when “toys” come in and write over it they cause destruction. I think legal walls like in Venice Beach are great because they create spaces for this art form to flourish without the law behind them. Due the bad connotation of graffiti, it is hard for many people to approve of it. Graffiti does not have to equal the destruction off public space. In Los Angeles, these well-known graffiti artists attained permits to make a huge mural along the LA River, however, once they had completed it and because it was “graffiti” they city told them they had to get rid it. The artists refused and the city removed it themselves. They fined the artists but the artists refused to pay because they had done everything legally. Things like this demonstrate the negative connotation even legal “graffiti” has. It will take a lot to change people’s perspective on this amazing art form.

  26. Demi Kong Avatar
    Demi Kong

    As I sat down to start this week’s discussion, I was very disheartened to find out we were watching a 90 minutes documentary. I watched the documentary as I did other homework and it was honestly a drag lol. Anyway, when I hear graffiti, I think of the people who “tag” their hate. In my senior year of high school a few days before our homecoming, a big wall of our school was vandalized with racist and hateful words and the school was not able to cover it up before many students saw it. It was such a cruel act, but it only brought our school closer to fight back with positivity. I know that many artists do tag with the intent of expression and creativity, but this is what I think of when I hear graffiti. I do think that graffiti is good, but the people out there that use it for hate is what I am not a fan of. I also do not agree when graffiti artists tag in inappropriate places. I think as long as rules are followed it is okay. In “Bomb It” we are shown that the artists who do tag are usually just expressing themselves through this form of art. There is a message they want to get across whether personal or globally. I liked how in the video we basically went all around the world to explore graffiti in many types of areas. Graffiti tends to be associated with poorer areas, but they are relevant in big name cities too such as Paris, France. The artist there was trying to spread the message that the homeless exist and should not be ignored. This proves that graffiti should not always be associated with negative connotations because there are people who are trying to spread a positive message. In the documentary, we were able to see perspectives from artists who participate in graffiti and appreciate it and people who consider it a crime. I think it was very good for the documentary that they included both perspectives as to not seem extremely biases towards one. The goal of a documentary should be to inform and it was accomplished because I learned more about how graffiti is an expression of art and I feel that I can appreciate it more if I consider the artist trying to do anything but vandalize.

  27. klauduso Avatar

    Tommy Duong
    In the documentary, a person mentions “I tag, therefore I am” in which seems like an altered version of Descartes’ saying “Cognito ergo sum” which stands for “I think therefore I am”. In relating to the person’s quote, it really relates to Descartes saying. How? Because in Philosophy Descartes theory says that, the world we are in is all made up and our experiences don’t exist. However, Cognito ergo sum, I think therefore I am, means that an individual like myself is creating a thought which means I exist. In the documentary the artists say that the youth don’t have a voice in the community, and whenever they ‘tag’ it’s their way of showing that they have a voice. Similar to Descartes, if they ‘tag’ they exist in the community. This documentary was really interesting to watch and graffiti was something that I was looking into.

  28. amanateeseawarrior Avatar

    Amanda Martinez

    Some of the graffiti in the film was actually pretty cool and resembled art. I really liked how in South Africa it was used as a political statement and also the stuff from Berlin that kind of looked like Banksy’s style. However, when it comes to tagging and just basically marking your territory I think it is unnecessary and just makes the city look bad. I think it is great that there is a place like in Venice Beach where people could go and express themselves. Having a place like that prevents graffiti from being everywhere. I think the people who do graffiti are inconsiderate of the people who have to go clean it up after. Having a gallery like they do in the film where people could display their work is a healthy outlet. I personally do not like most graffiti, but I think that is a better idea then kids tagging and ending up in gangs. I understand that graffiti is about expressing yourself; however, there are better ways to express yourself where people do not end up in gangs or in jail.

    1. lukasfue Avatar

      Lukas Fuentes

      Hi Amanda,
      You say that graffiti in the film resembled art, but I would argue that is is in fact art. I agree with you that simply tagging your name for the sake of marking your territory, or just simply to have your name somewhere is pointless. However, I think there is some graffiti that makes important statements. We are supposed to be free in the United States, but there is still a lot that we can’t do and there are a lot of egregious things going on in the world that most people are oblivious to. I think graffiti is a good outlet to point out these absurdities in society in a way that a lot of people will notice. Unfortunately, most people don’t take the time to stop and think about the graffiti they see and just write it off as petty gang related activities.

  29. Christian Gallo Avatar
    Christian Gallo

    This video was very interesting and makes graffiti seem cool. There were a lot of different style and many people expresses themselves through graffiti. While growing up there was a lot of graffiti in my school and people had a negative view on graffiti. Even now I still believe that graffiti is bad if it is done on private property likes homes or public places like schools or museums. There are a lot of graffiti that looks cool and has great style. But there are others that are related to gangs and they have no style to there graffiti.it is just plain words of their gang names. The people in the video put some background and design to their graffiti and that type of graffiti looks great.

  30. beentiredblog Avatar

    Kayla Tafoya Sablan

    I think the first thing I really realized in this documentary was that it’s so easy for people to forget that graffiti is often used to make political statements any kind of statement for that matter. It’s also interesting to see how graffiti has transformed and evolved from its roots to modern day art. What is unfortunate is the fact that it was not counted as a high form of art and because of this, it was looked down upon despite the ways it reflects talent and creativity and instead uprooted violence. Graffiti gave the streets art. Its unfortunate that these artists were rejected because of how they expressed themselves artistically. It criticism that would really get me down because it comes from that person–they made it, created it, put in all that time–yet they’re penalized for it. So I can imagine the emotional battle these artists were fighting because these messages they wanted to get out through their art was constantly rejected. I don’t know any street artists who do graffiti, but growing up in L.A. has really altered how I view street art. I really appreciate this kind of art because of the spaces and locations it takes up look so much more alive and appealing. The detail, colors, and locations are all amazing. These artists know exactly where to display their art. They make it apart of it sometimes and it’s really interesting to experience and observe.

  31. allison cruz Avatar

    This documentary was super informative. I believe that it sheds light on the artist’s view of graffiti rather than outsiders looking in- who perceive it to be vandalism. As opposed to tagging, graffiti art is a form of expression, rather than drawing lines of territory throughout neighborhoods and cities. I do enjoy however how they took tagging their name on a piece of artwork and expanded that into a whole different form of artwork that evolved from simply letters. It is really interesting the different forms of graffiti there is out there. I mentioned before in another blog post about Banksy and his satirical graffiti work he started out doing in England. His work is recognizable and has made a career out of it. From his graffiti work he was able to branch out his work and do installations and make money out of it in some cases. Banksy is a great example of an urban artist using art to bring real issues to the public. I disagree with the statement made in the movie that graffiti is a gateway to a life of crime. Although undesirable to some, graffiti artwork is a great form of expression and there should be more legal places to do such work on, like at Venice.

    1. duhmarkymark Avatar

      Marcelo Ceballos Jr. – 1 PM

      Hey Allison, I completely forgot about the fact that this entire art form was created from simple letters. Thank you for mentioning it, because it really is incredible that this art form even happened. If it was not for the early adopters and people willing to get in trouble to express their art, who knows what would have happened. We might have not even had had graffiti art. Even though it may not be the most respected form of art, it has helped many people and brought light to many issues.

  32. lukasfue Avatar

    Lukas Fuentes (1pm)
    This video really opened up my eyes to what graffiti is all about. It’s not people just painting on random walls just to do it. They are trying to get a message out. They are trying to point out the absurdities of society. It is their way of giving “The Man” the middle finger. Graffiti is a weapon, as it is put in the video, is a really interesting idea. Art has always been used to as media for critiquing society and its flaws, but very few people see art that is kept in a gallery. If someone puts their art out on a wall in the middle of New York City, hundreds of thousands of people will see it and the message will be much stronger. Unfortunately, most people in the world see graffiti as a crime only performed by gang members or the like. I think people need to open up their eyes and see the world or what it really is. At one point in the video a guy talks about his idea that when ancient peoples left their mark on the pyramids or other major historical sites, they were really just saying “Hey, I’m so and so and I was here” and that is the same thing that people are doing today with graffiti. For all we know, he could be right. If he is, graffiti may have been going on for a lot longer than most people think.

  33. roxannnechav Avatar

    Growing up I always saw graffiti as a form of destruction of public property, because all I would ever hear was that people who did graffiti were bad people. Growing Up I have came to realize that graffiti has two meanings a graffiti that is art and graffiti that causes damage hurt and damage to others. When I began high school, the high school I attended was a brand new school. A few weeks later it became vandalized by graffiti writing stating that the neighborhood gang was there. I couldn’t help but feel anger for someone to do this to a school, where it is only meant for learning purposes. I always saw graffiti in that way. But I also knew that there was others who used graffiti writing as a from of self expression to translate their art. When a person does graffiti writing, they are stereotyped in many ways some positive and some very negative. But when a person is actually doing graffiti writing or just graffiti work as a form of expression to use as art is very much a talent because it is not an easy writing to perform. In my neighborhood I see graffiti in both positive ways as well as negative ways. But in the end the positive graffiti beats all forms of stereotypes graffiti artist’s face because it has a purpose. Graffiti art in a city is important because it represents a community within.

    Roxana Chavez

    1. Nick Lemmerman Avatar

      Hi Roxana,

      I agree with you that there are both positive and negative connotations when it comes to graffiti. There are some places where I don’t see graffiti as appropriate like a place where people might practice their religion ( church, temple, synagogue, etc.). Some might see tagging on walls which may beaffiliated with gangs and that then might affect how they view graffiti in general, as something negative and associated with criminals. But then there is the graffiti art that is an expression of an artist’s creativity and their own style. Those artists most likely just want to publicly display a message or a piece of them to the community. Before this assignment, I also had some negative thoughs about graffiti art, but now I found myself appreciating it a lot more because like any other artist, these graffiti artists want to be heard or just simply need an outlet to express themselves. The time and effort that most f these graffiti artists put into their work is simply inspiring. I also agree with you in that graffiti can bring a community closer through a different way of communication and self-expression.

      Nickolas Lemmerman

  34. jonathangirgis Avatar

    Jonathan Girgis

    In relation to this documentary, I feel like there is a correlation, direct or not, between expressing ourselves by different means and our own happiness. I think that back then, not only was it more affordable, but it was also easier to simply to do what you want. There just wasn’t as much pressure and stigmatizing as there is today. Here you have people who want to create actual art, not ruin property, but that is usually seen as simply vandalizing and criminal. Instead, I think we should try to encourage creating (graffiti) art and provide outlets for this kind of expression, especially since it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Sure, there are places where it should not be allowed, but there should be places where it is. I think we’ll end up a happier people with more freedom, which seems kind of ironic since we always parade that term around. Anyways, I love seeing well-crafted graffiti just as much as I enjoy seeing a good painting. This is subjective of course, and maybe that’s just me. But either way, we might need outlets for more healthy self-expression.

  35. samueldelacruzblog Avatar

    Samuel De La Cruz

    Hi Jonathan, I completely agree with you that governments should assign certain areas so people can express their graffiti art. It certainly has been around for a while already and spread around the world showing that is not going anywhere any time soon. I also agree that if you give people more freedom it will make them happier but they would have to be responsible about it. It always takes just one person to ruin it for everybody and lose privileges given to people. Graffiti is an amazing art form that can make boring areas look full of life and vibrant. Any art form can be good for people because it is a way for them to outlet their stress and be soothing and calming making it a good source of relaxation.

  36. Alex Miramontes Avatar
    Alex Miramontes

    This documentary reminded me a lot about my favorite documentary on Netflix, “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” If anyone enjoyed the documentary we just watched you will really enjoy “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” which is focused on street art and popular artist such as Banksy. A lot of people have been mentioned how graffiti is something that is familiar to them because they grew up in Los Angeles, and that is the same case for me. Growing up in Los Angeles I was surrounded by graffiti, and it was something that was familiar and creative to me. I found the documentary to be extremely informative because it sheds light on the meaning about graffiti. Media portrays graffiti in a negative manner, as something that is violent and gang related. However, graffiti is simply a form of street art that allows individuals express their creativity. Many of the artist responsible for graffiti have the same goals and aspirations as any other artist working this different mediums, they want to establish a name for themselves. I really enjoyed how the documentary mentioned how individuals have been using “graffiti” for centuries now. My favorite part of the documentary was when they mentioned how the Egyptians would leave their mark on places they would visit. I always thought of “graffiti” as a modern form of art but its interesting to hear that ancient civilizations did the same thing. Today graffiti is a part of our culture in Los Angeles, the walls of certain building as specifically dedicated to graffiti artist to display their art. It is interesting to see how the view of graffiti is changing and evolving over the course of time. Allowing artist to legally display art on the streets of Los Angeles is an enormous step in the right direction. Society used to view graffiti in a negative manner, and today the connotation behind “graffiti” is quickly changing. Overall, I enjoyed this weeks discussion because its something that captures my attention, and something that I am familiar with.

  37. Marlene Rodriguez Avatar

    I really enjoyed watching this film not only because of the different artists and their talents but because of how unique each painting was. It really amazes me how each individual saw graffiti writing as a beautiful piece of art that expresses themselves rather than a destruction of a public property. The first time I ever encountered a piece of graffiti writing sadly was at my elementary school. I didn’t really understand what it was and why everyone was so upset about it. I guess I kind of have mixed feelings about it just because of the different reasons people use graffiti painting for. In the case at my school, it was due to gangs from a local neighborhood so it wasn’t the best writing. But when i have gone to places like downtown LA the writing is so much different and had so much more meaning behind it. For these people in LA it was to make the city beautiful so I dont find it a crime at all.

    1. miisstinatrn Avatar

      Hey Marlene,

      I agree with you that the video was really interesting in showing various types of graffiti styles as well as how unique all of them can be. The graffiti itself can be considered a piece of art, however where it is presented (on the side of the freeway or in a neighborhood) an affect the way the viewers look and judge the piece. If graffiti writing is presented in a gallery, it is something to be fantasize about but if it’s on the street, it is considered to be a form of vandalism.

      Tina Tran

  38. miisstinatrn Avatar

    Tina Tran
    The video was so long but I found it to be very interesting and informative. Before today I haven’t even tried graffiti and much less know anything about it. I did not know there are so many different graffiti styles. I thought it was super interesting to take something simplistic such as writing letters and create a form of typography that expresses so much individual personality and how the forms travel and differs from one part of the globe to another. It really brings light to what can be considered art and what isn’t. Something that is presented in a gallery or on a canvas is considered to be art and can be presented as something beautiful and treasured. However, a different form of art, such as graffiti drawing, on the side of the freeway or neighborhood is considered a type of vandalism that brings down the value of the area. It not only brings in the question of what can be considered art, but also where does the piece have to be in order to view it was art or something to be treasured.

    1. andyybui Avatar

      Hi Tina,

      I also believe that the documentary was interesting and informative. It was nice how you can get an insight of how all of these artists think and the reasons why they do graffiti. Like you, before doing the graffiti art activity, I never even picked up a can of spray paint, but after trying it it was so much fun. When I was painting, it was hard enough for me to just paint my name, but the artists in the video were able to take letters and form their own typography like you said. I also share your views on how the location of the piece can really affect its value. I feel that if there were designated areas in a city for artists to graffiti, it could be treated for valuably like in a gallery, the only difference is that it’ll be outdoors.

      -Andy Bui

    2. dschmitz137 Avatar

      Daniel Schmitz

      Hey Tina, long time no see.

      I completely agree, the video was long but fortunately kept my attention the whole time. I didn’t even have to rewind and watch any parts over again. I was like you, before today I hadn’t done graffiti styled art either. I like the first point you make. It’s kind of like how people have to print their name on all their homework assignment, and all the handwriting looks the same. But when you write your name in graffiti it’s its own thing, every one is unique.

      I also felt that it connected very well with the last week’s discussion post about cave painting. Graffiti is found all over the globe, as is ancient cave painting. The whole world has similar roots and basic trends, but the specific art style is unique to each region and place.

  39. andyybui Avatar

    Andy Bui

    Before watching this documentary, I already had some opinions about graffiti and the types of people they were linked to. Generally when I hear graffiti, I think of gangs tagging their letters just to vandalize the property of others and that it was generally unartistic when done by these types of people. After watching this documentary, generally I still see bombing of names that are not too aesthetically pleasing, but now I understand the reason behind why people do it. It’s amazing how all types of people from across the planet are connected by an art form that is generally looked down upon, yet they still continue to do it. It’s somewhat inspiring to see how far people will go out of their way to express their creativity and ideas even if there is the possibility of going to prison and getting fined. I feel that if these cities had a designated section for street art, people would be able to appreciate the art more because it seem like it is “vandalizing” anybody’s property and be treated more like an outdoor art gallery. This was prevalent in a part of the video when there was the old lady that allowed the bombers to paint on a wall in front of her home because it made the street look more lively; before the artists were there, the resident said the wall looked terrible. All art is an expression of someone’s thoughts or feelings even if the basis behind it is not understood, this documentary was very informational about the history and basis behind graffiti art.

  40. Vincent Santos Avatar

    Watching Bomb it remind alot of the show The Get Down which is about graffiti and music, which are both forms of expressing yourself. In the Get Down they talk about the Bronx were left in ruins and a lot of graffiti was done. I have never seen graffiti as a bad thing, its a way of expressing yourself and as in Bomb it says “We are letting the world know we exist”. Graffiti is an art form that isnt for everyone, some people hate it and see it as a crime while other see it as a master piece. I see why people may hate graffiti they may be writing gang related stuff, but its not always like that. Most people do graffiti to get know and show their style and make a blank wall look nice. So in the Bronx where the government gave up and didnt care so people tried to make it look better.

    1. aleahlomeli28 Avatar

      Hi Vincent,
      I agree with you about the different ways that people interpret graffiti. People make it seem bad because it usually is gang related as they promote their gangs or members right their names. However, I agree with you when you say that it is simply a way of people expressing themselves. It is like a master piece because people have many thoughts and feelings that they are trying to express. Oh and I also agree with you when you say music is another way to express yourself.

    2. Linda Nguyen Avatar

      Hi Vincent,
      I absolutely agree that there are two sides of the coin when it comes to peoples opinion on graffiti. While some see it plainly as vandalism, some see it as a form of art and expression. I never thought about graffiti much because it was never prevalent in the area I lived in, but after seeing some of the graffiti art in Venice I definitely see it more as an art form for expression. I think parallels can be seen between graffiti art and rap music because they both have two differing opinions towards them–one sees them as bad and gang affiliated and the other sees them as a form of art expression, representing the hardships of the artists lives in the community they live/lived in.

    3. Patricia Avendano Avatar

      Hey Vincent,

      My first thoughts in the beginning of this video were of The Get Down too! It’s one of my favorite shows because it’s all about music and art. Clips of New York City shown in the documentary were very similar to the show and the documentary itself just reminded me of Dizzee.
      I agree that graffiti may be constantly associated with crime and gang-related activity, but people have yet to understand the art behind it and its initial purpose for people: to be able to tell the world that you exist. It’s just another form of expression, but what makes it different is its ability to be seen by a vast audience and the amount of controversy that surrounds it.

  41. aleahlomeli28 Avatar

    Aleah Lomeli

    As I watched this documentary, I found it really interesting to learn about graffiti and the impact that it has on others. When I think of graffiti, I usually link it to gangs, violence, etc. However, by watching this video, I learned that many do it to promote peace and love and to simply express their thoughts and feelings. It is unfortunate that art is seen as a “weapon”. I think the wall of graffiti in this video was really cool, because it expressed people’s thoughts and was a simple way of freestyle. I actually find graffiti beautiful because it stands out and is not portrayed to be perfect. I learned that many do graffiti for a reason. It’s their way of speaking to the world even with the consequences behind it for it being “vandalism.” The women that let people graffiti next to her house was interesting because she allowed it for a reason which was it stood out and made the place look lively. I agree with that. Art is a beautiful piece of work and it’s unfortunate that it cannot all be displayed in the world freely.

  42. nataliesantanablog Avatar

    Natalie Santana

    Graffiti has a negative connotation to it in the opinion of many people. Many people don’t consider graffiti as art and connect graffiti to “bad” people. Those people are people that should definitely watch this documentary to change their minds. I love how big this art movement is. I had no idea that it was born in Philadelphia. I like how an artist said “if you put a pen in any child’s hands, naturally they’ll go to the wall, graffiti writing started at the birth of humans consciences.” It’s not just random things, it all tells a story. I think graffiti and tagging are two different things and people confuse the two. Although I’m not against graffiti, I dont like seeing people tagging on walls because those are mostly gang related. Graffiti to me is art and it has a meaning behind it. However, I do see why people are against it since it can be see as vandalism. It’s inspiring how these people do so much and are not afraid of consequences because all they want to do is show their art and their creativity. I thought it was crazy how in many New York neighborhoods there is graffiti in every single street, it is rare to see streets that don’t have graffiti writing on the walls. That’s the norm for them and now they think their city is becoming boring because of all these new buildings and business which in their opinion is ruining their city. Where we live, we dont see much graffiti writing and when we do see it, its gang related which is why people think so negatively about it.

    1. maritessanne Avatar

      Maritess Inieto

      Hey Natalie!

      I agree with you. People often relate graffiti to delinquents, giving graffiti and those who do it a bad name. Little do they realize, it’s not that. They indeed should watch this documentary because they are so blindsided to the depth and meaning that graffiti holds for each individual that partakes in it. I too love how big this movement is. Anywhere you go, there’s someone’s tag somewhere. I’m from the Bay Area, so in cities like Oakland, San Francisco, and Hayward, you’ll find a bunch of these works of art. It’s so interesting how it was born in Philadelphia. One day someone decided that they wanted to take their art and express it on walls. I never really quite knew the difference between tagging and graffiti, so thank you for clearing that up for me! Graffiti truly is art and it’s amazing because it unifies such a large group of people. People really put their lives on the line for graffiti, and I think that tells you something. The dedication that people put into graffiti is beautiful. I wish more people watched this documentary because it shows a whole different side to this form of art that people do not see. Lastly, the fact that graffiti means so many different things to so many different people really makes graffiti so much more unique than other forms of art. Graffiti can represent rebellion of an unfair government or just show expression of what someone thinks of.

  43. juanfvasquez Avatar

    Juan Vasquez

    In the past I had seen a similar video whom’s name I have already forgotten but it had already made me see the artistic side of graffiti. I have seen simple tagging that vandalized private property in nearby neighborhoods as well as elaborate pieces of work on the side of businesses. I would not call tagging art but it is definitely a form of expression for the person doing it. I’ve been in schools where tagging would be done consistently on the buildings, books, desks, and anything that could be drawn on. I believe that graffiti can be an amazing style of art work that differs by location and makes them all unique. Graffiti is not all bad as there are people that work to make eccentric works of art and then you’ll still have those people that would simply draw over and ruin that work. The most appealing characteristic of graffiti is the fact that there is no standard method or style that everyone must follow, it allows for freedom in expression for the artists.

  44. Nick Lemmerman Avatar

    After watching this documentary I appreciate graffiti art a lot more than I used to. Before I wouldn’t pay much attention to street art because to me it was just a normal part of the city. But now actually looking at what these artists do, how they work, and the planning behind it, it’s breathtaking. Graffiti art isn’t a special language that only people of the graffiti world knows, what makes it special is that anyone (not only graffiti artists) can interpret it and be moved by it. Like other artists, the graffiti artists put their heart and soul into their work. It’s not just the words they put on the wall of canals, subway stations, or abandoned buildings; it’s the individuality on their styles that intrigued me. Some people just want to send a message or want a way to release any built up emotions. I also did not realize how much strategy or planning some graffiti artists put into their work; the artists paid attention to where, when, and what while on their “missions” to bomb (graffiti). I felt that most of these artists had the mentality of “the world is my canvas,” and I found it really beautiful and inspiring. The thrill of graffitiing public properties and seeing their artwork reach other audiences makes me understand why graffiti artists do the work that they do, and it leads me to wonder why such an interesting style of art is still looked down upon by some people.

    — Nick Lemmerman

    1. nataliesantanablog Avatar

      Natalie Santana

      Hey Nick,
      I really liked your post. I also have more appreciation for graffiti and graffiti artist now. I know a lot of people do not like graffiti and link it to violence and gangs but I believe there has to be more awareness. If people truly knew what the pieces mean and how artist are just showing creativity and telling a story, I know it would change a lot of peoples bad thoughts about it. I honestly don’t see a lot of graffiti art around and I wish I did. I see a lot of tagging but I don’t consider them the same thing. I like how you brought up that anyone can interrupt it the art and be moved by it and I completely agree. I also think that what graffiti artist do is inspiring many of them are only trying to send a message. It is crazy how much time and effort they put into every artwork that they do. Hopefully with more awareness, this art movement can get bigger and it will not be looked upon any longer, instead appreciated by everyone.

  45. Evan Burton Avatar

    This video changed my perception of believing graffiti was a form of property damage into now viewing it as a form of expression. The segment that took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil was fascinating due to its showcase of the class struggles that inspire “tagging” to occur on the streets. For the most part, graffiti art is practiced within concentrations of low-income individuals. Poorer neighborhoods, especially those with a large percentage of Hispanics and African-Americans, tend to have graffiti covering their public landmarks and sidewalks. It isn’t a coincidence that there will be more graffiti in Inglewood than in Malibu. Economic factors inspire certain low-income groups to adopt tagging into their culture so that they can have a voice comparable to those of the upper classes. One of the Brazilian graffiti artists stated that “taggers aren’t selling anything, they only want to show they exist”. This line caused me to question the intent of taggers in a way I had never done before. They aren’t vandalizing property for petty rebellion, they do so to remind passerbys that an impoverished group actually lives beneath those giant billboards. The poor don’t have political power capable of resisting gentrification, only the means to create a visual stimulus in the form of protest or graffiti.

  46. duhmarkymark Avatar

    Marcelo Ceballos Jr. – 1PM

    Over the years my stance has changed in regards to graffiti. At first I thought it was really cool to see the really out their pictures everywhere, but then I saw the damage that it can do and the costs associated with getting rid of it. It is a very difficult decision to make as to whether it is okay or not to do. If people can’t do you it, it is kind of like taking away a freedom, but on the other had it is vandalizing peoples property and public places. Just like most issues, people on either side do not want to make compromises and sacrifice the purity of their own beliefs. This is both good and bad because it is important to stick to a vision when trying to accomplish something but then they cannot find any common ground or solutions because they are so set on their ideas. This has to change or else there will never be piece and rebellion will continue. Venice Beach is a great example or a coexistence between society and graffiti artists.

    Another thing I find interesting is that some pieces are created to make a statement and are important to getting messages across. Just how companies and businesses spend money trying to get their message across to as many people as possible, graffiti artists are essentially doing the same thing. They may not have the monetary funds to rent a billboard or wall, but they see the message they are trying to spread so important to get out to people that they risk getting arrested in order to get the message out to people. This shows just how committed they are to there message. Some may be just doing it for fun or to be cool but this should not cloud the fact that many are trying to make statements to the community they live in.

    1. Cindy Le Avatar

      I totally agree with you Marcello. The topic is very controversial in our society. Those that are more well off or those that aren’t informed about what goes on around them, would see graffiti as a nuisance or a bad example. However, to those who don’t have the necessities or luxuries as others, will find a way to express themselves to those around them, particularly in the form of graffiti. Irony appears wherever we go honestly. The billboards are just the “civilized” forms of graffiti, an accepted form of getting a message across to the public. I applaud the bravery of graffiti writers that take these risks in order to express themselves and their concerns.

  47. Melissa Rios Avatar

    Melissa Rios

    The documentary, Bomb It, was extremely informative and eye opening on the background of graffiti. It was very pleasing to see how graffiti started and how it has affected the lives of many individuals. I have always seen graffiti as a hobby and an interest, but I was proven wrong today. Individuals who are involved in doing street art, see graffiti as a form of life. I got to see what graffiti means to individuals who are for graffiti and against graffiti. And to be honest, I kind of understand both arguments. On one hand, I have always found murals, stencils and stickers very fascinating. The fact that individuals are capable of doing such intense work, knowing that their life is basically on the line is inspiring in a way. They aren’t afraid to show their art to the world. On the other hand, I don’t like the way tagging is everywhere and it isn’t a nice form of graffiti. However, the way I see it is that as a street artist you need to start somewhere and quite frankly tagging is where most of them start. So I’m all for it, because they are going to eventually grow from it and learn how to become bigger and better artist.

  48. irepbrian Avatar

    Brian Sath

    Hello Everyone!
    I thought that the film was interesting. I didn’t expect the United States to start graffiti and have it spread around the world. It isn’t something that is taught in our books, however, it is an expression of art for many people. I thought that “Cornbread” was an interesting character. It was really unique for him to actually paint on the elephant. That was very funny and was a very bold statement. After that, I understood why New York became the known as the graffiti capital. The United States is a giant melting pot, with New York having so many people. There are the rich areas and the poor areas, but all people contributed to the graffiti in the areas. Taki 183 is an individual that is actually popular. On my trip to the east coast, I could have sworn that I’ve seen Taki graffiti. The most interesting thing that the video touched upon was the graffiti on the trains. It was cool that people would have a conversation on the trains and actually say and represent where they were from on the trains. After 1989 they started cleaning the trains and I can’t believe that they just gave up. I feel like graffiti is a great way to express and represent your area. My favorite part about my trip to Philadelphia this summer was actually going around the city to see the graffiti and murals. It shows individuality within such a big city. The part that I disliked within the film was the fact that there was the one individual talking about gang life. I understand that it is part of graffiti history, but I feel like it is a poor representation of what it meant for a lot of people back in the day.

  49. Adrian Munoz Avatar

    My opinion for graffiti has always and will always be a questional thing for me. I grew up around LA and I always tell myself how amazing the graffiti is, but then I ask myself whether or not I would really want that art around my neighborhood. I mean it looks beautiful on billboards or water towers, but in my neighborhood I draw the line. Even some graffiti happens to be gang related, I don’t know if it’s the same right now. Venice Beach is the best example to both admire the art and location of the art with its society. It’s a place where new artist can explore their talent and start somewhere that doesn’t cause them to end up in jail. I also liked how the video informed us about how graffiti art can connect the world as whole. I just think graffiti art is amazing and should continue where it’s appropriate.

  50. Jacqueline Sanchez Avatar
    Jacqueline Sanchez

    Jacqueline Sanchez 1P.M

    After watching the documentary “Bomb It”, I must say that I have mixed feelings about graffiti writing. I can understand and appreciate the positive aspects of graffiti. I can understand that to some people graffiti is an art medium; it is a way to express feelings, opinions, and creativity. To some people, graffiti is much more than just writing on walls; it is how they send a message or tell a story. However, growing up in South Central L.A, this has never been my experience with graffiti. Here, graffiti is gangs marking their territory. It is how I know which neighborhoods are safe and which aren’t. It is vandalism and destruction of public and private property. It is a reminder of crime and violence.

  51. dschmitz137 Avatar

    Daniel Schmitz

    I feel like this documentary on graffiti writing fit in very well with our last week’s discusssion on cave painting. When you look at cave painting, you find it all over the world. Many of the basic trends and techniques of cave painting are similar throughout the world, but each region has its own unique, personal styles. Almost exactly like graffiti.

    Graffiti is found all over the world, and if you look at the basic art styles of it, it tends to be very similar. However, the unique styles broken up by geographical region and the unique artist is what really sets them apart, much like cave painting.

    Like a lot of people are saying, graffiti art, or vandalism, has both upsides and downsides. Graffiti is a creative way for people who are struggling with inner-city pressures to relieve their emotions. However, I do believe there’s a time and place for graffiti. I’m not sure where I draw the line, but it somewhere around city vs. private property. If you want to go tag up a subway station or a urban park, go for it. It might make it “pop” and look better than just plain grey city colors. But I don’t think people should go write on people’s houses or anything privately owned (like a store). If the owners don’t want it there then it doesn’t belong. It’s the same reason I don’t hang posters and paintings on the outside of my house. Some things just don’t belong, even if it is art.

  52. Linda Nguyen Avatar

    I found this video very interesting. Growing up, I was extremely sheltered and only taught one single view of graffiti–that it was vandalism, illegal, and bad. I was taught that those who did graffiti where bad people who wanted to ruin peoples properties and for a while, that was all I knew. But, when I grew up, I learned that graffiti was a form of expression and not just gang related. Graffiti gives an area its character and represents its community and their lives–and not everyone has an easy life and I think it can be seen in peoples graffiti. Graffiti isn’t the typical and classic art form where select people choose to go into an exhibit and ponder on the artists message; its a public form of art that brings forth the attention of all those who can see it and shows them the artists message, skill, and style.

    1. Andrew Nguyen Avatar
      Andrew Nguyen

      Hi Linda,
      I could definitely relate to you growing up in an anti graffiti community. It was all considered vandalism where I grew up as well. However, watching this video gave me so much more perspective on graffiti and what it represents. In addition, I thought it was really cool how graffiti is different in all the communities and convey many universal messages. Graffiti is a type of art that goes beyond the norms and it just shows us that not all art is limited to just paper and pencil it could be expressed as freely like graffiti. I enjoy that it brings many cultures together using the same media. Great assertions Linda. Thank you for sharing.
      -Andrew Nguyen

  53. Patricia Avendano Avatar

    I was very indifferent to graffiti before watching this documentary. I’ve often admired graffiti art everywhere I went but at the same time, associated it with crime. The reason for that, I realize now, is because that stigma is what I was mostly exposed to. This video showed me the other side of graffiti — the artists’ side.
    It’s fascinating to learn how graffiti, or bombing, has expanded to different forms of interpretation. In Philadelphia and New York during the 70’s (where bombing originated), people stated who they were and where they’re from on city walls and subways. These people called themselves “Bombers,” but society renamed them “graffiti artists.” It was all about the signature and tag and how much “funk” you can add to it.
    Around the world, individuals have used graffiti art to make political statements, represent resistance in “controlled” societies, expose and educate the youth to unique art, give life to cities that are made up of “boring” buildings, and simply communicate their thoughts.
    The documentary definitely gave me a different perspective of graffiti, and showed me the art behind it instead of its association to crime and negativity in general. Graffiti has had positive influences on numerous people, whether it be the artist themselves or the public.

  54. Cindy Le Avatar

    Graffiti has come quite a long way. We have stories of people who started off small and became known when people started talking about them. We also have people who just graffiti for fun. We have people who graffiti for all sorts of reasons. Cornbread in particular, graffitied his nickname everywhere because he was influenced by people who talked about him and also by events that affected him. Others wrote their names as a means of communications to other graffiti artists, or to tell people that they exist. It’s amazing how they could trace the graffiti we know today, to wall art seen on ancient walls of civilizations before us.

    The video gives us a new aspect of the culture that many people dislike. When I do think about it, labels are just words that other people put out to in a sense categorize or group certain things. The words they choose, reflect heavily on how they view the subject. In this particular sense, graffiti to some is a form of expression, whereas to others, it is a nuisance. And like everything else that steadily grows popular or accepted, the form of graffiti evolves. “Graffiti was a sign that no one had control over the system”. People don’t have the same perspectives on certain subjects because of their background. The video gives way to the perspectives of those who aren’t as well off as others. It also gives much more depth to the views of the young, who feel unheard in the society created and dictated by the adults in their lives. This form of art and culture becomes ” a sort of power” for those who are supposed to conform to the social norms and to those who are “forgotten”.

    1. Andrew Nguyen Avatar
      Andrew Nguyen

      Hi Cindy,
      I definitely agree that this video gave me a new perspective on the current culture. I also think that it is fascinating that you could trace where and what type of graffiti it is with passing time. I grew up in an environment where graffiti was only considered vandalism and not so much art. But after watching this video it shows how people really express themselves and art is not limited to traditional paper and pencil. This art goes beyond the norms and it conveys different messages from the many different pieces. Thanks for sharing Cindy!
      -Andrew Nguyen

  55. Andrew Nguyen Avatar
    Andrew Nguyen

    Andrew Nguyen
    Graffiti always had a negative connotation that came along with the word growing up. In my community it was a huge issue of vandalism; therefore, not many people were able to appreciate the media of art. After watching this video on graffiti art it definitely gave me a different perspective on how people should view graffiti. I think many people associate graffiti with gang affiliations; however, there is more to it than just the negative background graffiti is praised for. In my opinion I believe this type of art is so unique and universal. There are many different cultures that come together to form such works of graffiti art. In addition, there is so many beautiful pieces that actually convey more than just some twisted up words. And I think it is important to freely express this type of art in appropriate areas because it is a form of expression. No one should ever be shunned from expressing his or her feelings in art. It is important to note that not all art is black and white and simple sketches or sculptures there is more to art than the norm.

    1. Abigail Manuel Avatar
      Abigail Manuel

      It’s odd, because when I read that in your community graffiti is seen in a very negative light I thought to myself that it was weird that people see graffiti so negatively, because growing up, I always thought that graffiti was so cool. But now that I think about it, graffiti was always very much present in my community growing up, and I don’t really know if too many community members were fond of the sight. I particularly loved the sight of it, I always thought it was something cool to look at, regardless of the negative connotation that it carried with it.

    2. Bryan Aparicio Avatar

      I agree with your opinion on graffiti art and what you first thought of it because that’s exactly how I felt about it too. I soon got over the fact that it was portrayed as vandalism because I began paying attention to the message being sent. It sometimes sends positive messages and I feel it’s something people need, specifically targeting adolescents. Sometimes we’re not always in the best situations, and who knows maybe all it takes is a message that could turn that around. It’s art. It’s a way to express yourself and should be allowed to be displayed in certain areas, a lot of areas.

  56. Abigail Manuel Avatar
    Abigail Manuel

    I actually liked this documentary, despite the fact that it was pretty long. I particularly liked the quote “I tag, therefore I am”, that stood out a lot to me. Whenever I think about graffiti, the first thing that comes to my mind are very free-spirited, creative individuals. I love the fact that people are able to express themselves in a very cohesive style, but at the same time it’s very personal to every single person who does graffiti. The “I tag, therefore I am” saying shows the culture that has ben created around graffiti art, and I think it’s a beautiful thing that people really have embraced this art as a lifestyle.

    1. jajamave Avatar

      Janis Vernier
      In Hamburg – the town in Germany where I live, we had this Artist called OZ who was really famous for his tags. Even though there was nothing special about that tag (quite the opposite: it was really just the two letters O and Z and sometimes a smiley) but what made him popular was the sheer quantity of his tag. There was really no place in Hamburg where you couldn’t find his signs.
      He never really did anything else than this simple tag. Even though he often was imprisoned for his work he never stopped tagging.
      2014 he died in the age of 64. when he got run over by a train as he sprayed his tag on the railways. The phrase “I tag, therefore I am” really fits this artist bin my opinion.

  57. Bryan Aparicio Avatar

    Graffiti is a form of art that is often overlooked. I feel people are more judging towards it because they’d instantly accuse it of being vandalism because of the reputation that it has received from people who actually do vandalize property.I remember during my junior year in high school, the seniors thought a good “senior prank
    ” would be to write on the walls of the school and they completely trashed the campus. It’s situations like that, that give it a bad reputation. That’s often not the case, though. Graffiti is expressed differently. It can be a picture, an visualization, or simple words written on a wall that displays a powerful message. I used to ride the train to get to CSULB, and on my way there, I would see various graffiti works that are so beautiful. It was in a neighborhood that isn’t the safest environment so I saw it as a picture of hope. I feel that’s what graffiti art is: a piece of hope or inspiration that’s waiting to be viewed by the world.

  58. maritessanne Avatar

    Maritess Inieto

    This video was quickly paced and very interesting. To see the wide view of perspectives of graffiti artists come together was amazing because they all had some sort of relativity to each other. Regardless from where in the world the graffiti was being done, to each graffiti artist, it represented rebellion for some, expression for others, and creativity for all. It was also crazy how different graffiti was, depending on where you were in the world. Of course, each form is different from each other, even if you’re from the same area because each person adds their own individuality to their work. I believe Cornbread said, “You put a pen in a child’s hand and their natural instinct will be to go to the wall.” This quote showed how natural it is for people to do graffiti. It is something most of us have done growing up. Watching this video, I was really impressed by the look of graffiti, but I was even more impressed by the action of it. How fast they were able to free-hand their work just BLEW my mind. I can barely draw stick figures, yet they’re out in public making works of art. They think something up and spray it onto a wall. What’s really impressive is how they are able to do it all with one draft. The metaphor of how people started changing jazz and making it their own, and how that’s what they were doing with graffiti was brilliant. He said, they’re taking letters of the alphabet and extending them. They’re adding dimension to a simple alphabet, making it their own. When Pink said she would sneak out to spray paint and would”Hate it when a hand comes out of the dark and starts slapping me” made me laugh so hard because I totally understand where she was coming from. Revs hitting 225 subway tunnels was crazy. He must’ve spent a lot of his younger years in subway tunnels. Graffiti was taken very seriously to the point where some of them would ask themselves,”Do we buy books for school that we really need or do we buy a spray can?” Graffiti was seen as a crime and people could get arrested, but this form of rebellion was beautiful. It wasn’t a crime, “graffiti isn’t an expression, it’s me. It’s life”. What really moved me was when someone said,”It made him something bigger, it made him feel like he belonged”. It just comes to show how important graffiti is for people.

  59. cslabell Avatar

    Do you ever feel like you are torn between your decision. Im sure all of us have felt that before! This is def one of those times for me. This documentary seriously had me rooting and scoulding at different times. Look, i LOVE art and appreciate many many forms of it but there is something about crossing the boundary of someones property and “tagging/bombing” tour name on it that really urks me. I live in South Central and i pass streets that are bombarded with weird, unreadable and ugly streams of grafitti, its the worst! It honestly makes the streets look horrible. Ij the film they talked about something i learned in a sociology class; “the broken windows theory” its all about how if a building (for example) has severly brokem windows, taggs, is run down and abandonded than evenrually the building next to it will become tje same way. So if we see neighborhoods full of grafitti and run downed it will grow and spread. Thats how i feel when i see certain graffiti in my local streets. I find it disrespectful and stupid that little teenage kids put their names on someones house just to look tough and “in charge” Im sorry but its wrong and i do see it as vandalism. Maybe because i see it first hand and dont see these kids being other than trouble makers it really isnt something i support. What i do support however are the amazing colorful MEANINGFUL art pieces that certain artist have created around the world. If its colorful (or black and white) and it represents something real and important and brings emotion or makes us think that by all means create away! I love it and applaud it. But a silly gang name on a hard working family’s house; No. In the film i love what the artist from Barcelona said “we do art with the sun with the moon and stars, its not meant to be in a room, its free for all” i love that and absolutelt think they have an awesome mind set. I enjoued the piece on Los Angeles; i love my city and i think seeing the latino origins of Olvera Street was a great addition to the film. Love anything that deals with day of the dead; his legacy has made such an impact. I also got really happy when i saw female artists. I thi k it showed a bad ass woman doing her thing in a place where she may not be very welcomed. More power to them, they do something unconventional and trully awesome. Overall i think it was a great documentary. I think graffiti meams different things to different people. To me its art when its in the right place and with a good mindset. If its to stir emotions and make you question any part of life i think its on the right track.

  60. cslabell Avatar

    Written by Claudia Sanchez ^

  61. Joy Uba Avatar

    Many people have different opinions with graffiti. A lot of people find it as vandalism and wrong to have graffiti anywhere in the city. Others find it as an outlet for expressing how the graffiti writers feel. I don’t think it’s wrong as long as it does not say anything inappropriate. When I was in high school, in my AVID class, my teacher let one of her kids tagged on her wall. As in, the whole wall in the room. The kid wrote “EDUCATION” in big letters and it stood out the moment you walk in the room. I think that is appropriate because it sends a message and my teacher also thought that too. That graffiti sends a good positive message that anyone can take from it. There was nothing wrong with that graffiti because the kid said that education is important and he tagged it big so it would catch everyone’s attention and think. In the video, I find it sad that graffiti writers find the subway tunnel as the safest place to do graffiti. Their lives are in danger but also the safest and peaceful place to tag as in hidden from the cops. Doing graffiti is okay up to a certain point. If they decide to do graffiti everywhere in the city and destroy private properties, this situation should not be allowed. Graffiti should not destroy other people’s property, such as cars, houses, and parking lot. However, graffiti should not look down upon on, but it should be controlled and maintained. Cities should have a spot where people could do graffiti legally and safely without worrying being caught.

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