While in Atlanta a few weeks ago, I spent some time on the city’s subway. I spotted some graffiti as the train passed through a rougher area of town. At first, I really appreciated the beauty, the color and creativity of the street art. But then I started to feel concerned that maybe the area was not really safe.
At one moment, I admired the graffiti and thought how cool it would be to have art like that on my basement walls. I wished that I could be a graffiti artist. Then 30 seconds later, my feelings changed.
I was concerned for my safety. Then, I was reminded of some graffiti that had been on my brother’s property and how much of a pain it must have been to get it off. It is strange how one thing can cause such a wide range of emotion in less than a minute. I went from appreciation to fear in a few seconds.
The Holy Spirit spoke to be during that minute. I realized that graffiti is a perfect picture of the glory and fallness of mankind. One one hand, graffiti is creative and colorful. Street art has a sense of free expression and wild creativity. It tells a story of a particular people or place. In this way, graffiti expresses the imprint of God’s creativity in men and women. We are all designed to be creative. Some create with paint; others use food or a wrench to express their genius.
God is the ultimate creative genius. When we create, we reflect the image of God. This can be seen by the good feelings associated with graffiti.
On the other end of the spectrum, graffiti tends to be destructive and indicates a general state of lawlessness exists in the area. It denotes rebellion and taking advantage of something that belongs to someone else. Most graffiti artists usually paint on other people’s property. This reprents evil, selfish actions – the fallen nature of mankind as people yield to tempation and sin.
Graffiti artists may do what they do because it produces a rush as the person sees what he/she can get away with. It’s the old saying that “Forbidden fruit tastes better.”
We all face the decision where we have to figure out how best to use our creative energy. Major factors are timing, intent and permission. Even “beautiful things” done out of order tend to cause problems.
Here’s one safe way to practice your graffiti skills. Try making graffiti online at http://www.graffiticreator.net/index.htm