From Cavemen to Vandals - Graffiti!
When I was a kid, graffiti mainly consisted of penises, swear words and public statements of an unknown individual's sexual persuasion or availability (I never did call Julie for free sex, and I never did find out who London was, if he was gay or why a public statement on the matter was required!)
But these were considered vandalism. Graffiti was something seen on New York subway cars in American movies. Probably in the Eighties, and probably connected to the drifting over the Atlantic of Hip Hop's influence, scrawls on public buildings started to become more intricate, colourful and dare I say, impressive.
In my photographer guise, I've always loved graffiti. Any graffiti. From the mundane to the ornate. From simple statements to colourful murals. There's some talented vandals out there and from the places I've seen some daubed, some pretty big balls.
Now I wouldn't claim most of the stuff scrawled or painted on walls is as socially or culturally important or worthy as the cave art of places such as Chauvet, Altamira or Kakadu (although I'm sure a more educated person than myself maybe could argue the case). But I'd say there is a connection or relationship to some degree.
In some fashion, at it's core, one can look at graffiti or cave art as one human's expression of self - I'm here, I exist, this is what I say, I want others to see it. And I'm not saying scrawling Julie's phone number on a library door has some deep Nietzsche-esque philosophical connotation. But someone put it there. And for a reason. And they were heard.
So here's a little gallery of some scrawlings i've taken