Classical music is to fine art as rap music is to graffiti.
As a radio station who plays Mozart would not feature 50 cent, a museum who displays Monet would not have a piece by Claw on their walls. Museums are places where world renowned artists who have dedicated their lives to the craft have their work on display. I have been going to art museums since I was a little kid yet I have never seen a piece of graffiti in one.
Even the contemporary museums do not seem to feature graffiti. Maybe this is an artist based choice, as a point of graffiti is that it is self expression and the streets are the museum where people can see the work for free. There are two main things that drive graffiti and they are either passion or release. Sometimes beautiful things are born from sadness, anger, pain and hurt and I believe that this can be the case with graffiti.
Graffiti is probably one of the most controversial art forms. Though I believe that it requires skill and talent, not all graffiti is art. If you go around a city with a spray can or a pen and tag your name on everything you pass, that is ot art. I do not need to see your scribbles on the mailbox, wall, and door that are in a six foot range. Also, what does that accomplish? That type of tag is not art, it is a petty way of saying “look at me i’m here, give me attention.”
That being said, not every tag is like that. Some tags are beautiful and amazing and you can easily turn a tag into a full blown art statement. The graffiti artist, Saber, is a great example of this. He uses his tag as the base for his pieces but they are large and colorful, half of the time you cannot even make out the tag because it is so hidden amongst the colors and patterns. He puts insane amounts of time, effort, and paint (which translates to money) into his work.
Another famous, if not the most famous, graffiti artist is Banksy. I have been really into banksy for a long time now. Half of the draw is the mystery behind the artist who is still unknown (so I will use they/their/them when speaking of Banksy). Their pieces are not just art but satirical criticisms and political/social activism. I also favor his style which is more stencil pieces than freehand, stereotypical “comic-like” graffiti. I absolutely love stencilling and stencil work, I think they is so much effort that goes into a piece that it just adds to its value.
I do not think that there is a great distinction between graffiti and street art. I would say that on a technical level, graffiti is made with strictly aerosol paints and pens while street art can use other forms of paint and painting. I do believe though, that the distinction lies between graffiti vandalism and graffiti art. Anything that is done with negative intentions, random tagging, aggressive/crude, or done without thought are vandalism. Graffiti art which is for sure a form of street art, usually involves planning and a lot of effort into making it something that people can look at and relate to. It is not just marking your territory.
Modern day fashion is a bit different from what it has been in the past as due to the impacts of social media. Social media has changed almost every aspect of fashion from advertising to purchasing. Instagram and facebook flood profiles with personalized ads which may include major designs or small, local companies trying to take off.
People spend hours a day on the internet and whether they realize or not, the ads are infiltrating their thoughts and influencing their purchases. Apps such as instagram allow models to show off the designers they are working for or wearing on red carpets.
Gigi Hadid partnered with Tommy Hilfiger to create a combined line “TOMMYxGIGI” in which she promoted most of the pieces on her own instagram page. She has 32.3 million followers who she is able to reach in seconds via a picture in which people see the items that will soon be available to buy. People are able to connect (or at least feel connected) with models all around the world through apps such as instagram, twitter, and facebook.
These platforms allow for advertisement and present the opportunity for models (and celebrities) who promote designers, brands, and companies in fashion. Social media has lended its hand to promoting fashion but that hasn’t changed the the rules around the industry.
Fashion is all about breaking the rules, creating something new by going against the grain. However the fashion world lacks laws that protect the creative outcome of those who try a new style. Unlike in writing where there are rules against taking credit for other people's work, fashion can’t protect against this. It is a tricky situation because if one or two of the major designers trademark staple pieces such as a neckline or a type cuff then those designers would be the only ones in the fashion industry. However, without the protection of laws, designers are easily ripped off and copied. This also can lend to a vis-a-versa situation in which a small company or individual local designer’s ideas and clothes or accessories can be taken by larger companies who can put a brand name to it and sell the item for a much higher price.
Maybe it is a new area for celebrities and socialites to use their voice towards. If people who have millions of followers started to promote local business and smaller fashion industries then there could be a way to stand up against designer names who are taking ideas from small shops who can not fight for themselves in court.
People with lots of followers could be using their voices for good and good and fashion are able to go together. Like Emma Watson and Calvin Kleins Green Carpet Challenge in which her MET Gala dress is fully recycled. Watson turned to instagram to explain her dress to her followers and share how important it is to be green in all forms, even fashion.
Social media and technology are going to be continuously impacting the world around us so it should be put to good use.
When I was fifteen my parents asked me if I wanted to move across the country to Utah. I said yes.
I grew up about seven miles outside of Boston. I took the public bus to school or walked, the train was a straight shot into the city and a quick walk from my house. In my area of town, the majority of the houses are duplexes...so two families live there, usually one above the other.
My mom loves being outside and both of my parents are health fanatics so they would always be running, walking, biking, rollerblading, etc. to get from place to place whether it be to walk the dogs or go to the grocery store. I would usually get dragged along, thus I have seen myself as a generally fit person. I do have asthma, but now a days who doesn’t?
Anyway, when I was fifteen my family and I picked up everything, stuffed our life into two cars and drove across the country to our new home in Park City, Utah. Park City is located about forty-five minutes outside of the state capital, Salt Lake City. Park City has three large ski resorts along with other mountains for training. In short, there are a lot of mountains.
Professional athletes come to the high altitude to train and work on their breathing and stamina. Almost everybody in Park City is active in some way whether it be mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, tennis or any other sport. The kids I went to school with were all in shape and seemingly lead very healthy lives. There was one Starbucks in the town and they recently opened a Burger King. It isn’t some tiny town with lots of ski bums living in huts, Park City is expansive with many newly constructed areas both residential and entertainment. Park City is also incredibly wealthy. Celebrities fashion the town, especially around Sundance (film festival) season. A listers such as Michael Jordan and Justin Bieber, to name a few, own houses there.
Many kids I knew had the ability to have personal trainers and all of their parents sure as hell had them too. People loved being outside though. Unlike Boston or New York where the weather is unpredictable and the people are always rushing around, Park City was sunny almost every day and strangers would stop you mid-hike or in a store to have full conversations with you. Everybody was much more laid back and genuinely happier than those at home.
I moved back to the boston area a year later because I wanted to finish schooling here but a few things have stuck with me:
The vibe on the west coast/the western part of the country is way more relaxed which is a much better thing to be around.
I have never been in better shape in my entire life than when I lived in Park City. I also had very no problems with my asthma, I may have gotten one cold all year, and my skin was brilliant.
Wealthy is healthy.
Close communities that need to rely mainly on themselves (since the next town over is fifteen minutes on a highway) lead to happier families and a nicer way of growing up.
Overall I believe that, as much as I love where I live now and think that Boston is an amazing city, if I had spent my entire adolescent life in Park City, I would have a higher quality of living which includes being healthier.