Graffiti artists have to be frustrated individuals in some ways. On the one hand, they are looking to express themselves and to display their artistic abilities. On the other, they recognize that their art form has an acceptability problem. By definition, it is created on someone else's property and generally without their permission. In short, it is usually vandalism. So the graffiti artist often needs to do his work at night or at least out of public view. Alternatively, he needs to place his work in areas where no one cares and few people see it, such as abandoned buildings.
Salt Lake City may have a reputation for being a prim and proper, conservative city. As such, one might assume that it does not have much in the way of graffiti. That assumption would be incorrect. From what I could discern during our recent trip there, the city's graffiti community is robust. My son, Jeff, had no problem is finding me some graffiti in the downtown area to photograph, and what follows is some of what I shot.
One of the best known pieces is located high off the street. It is on a relatively narrow alley next to a gun shop.
I liked the juxtaposition of the graffito, which appears to feature a religious figure, with the awning sign for the gun shop.
Here is, I believe, the sign for the artist who created the iconic figure above.
I can't read it, but I like the font.
The alley featured graffiti on both sides, as shown in the following two photos. My son gets credit for suggesting that I feature the Beer Bar sign in the second photo.
Oddly, the graffiti on the left in this last photo seems typical of such art, even including the triple-nosed figure in the first of the two photos above. However, the graffiti on the right in the second shot wasn't genuine graffiti in my view. It was simply too polished, and I generally didn't keep the shots of it that I took.
The alley opened onto a courtyard area that was completely given over to graffiti artists. Following are shots of the general scene.
Very impressive, really.
The graffiti was of two general kinds. One featured typical block-colored, cartoonish figures, as in the following photos.
Note how the artist worked around the window in this last shot.
The other type of graffiti features work that has more shaded, realistic figures, as in the following two shots.
One of the newer trends in graffiti is stenciling, which shows up in the following photos.
I liked the following abstract work done in black & white on corrugated sheet metal.
But my favorite pieces are shown in the shot below, that includes an upside down cross.
Note the interlocking fingers running along the upper left side of the image. Finally, here is a closeup shot of the redhead in the above photo.