BY ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM
The world of graffiti is an untapped angle of aesthetics in our country. Graffiti are writings or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted on a wall or other surface. This form of art has existed since ancient times, dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire. Graffiti is seen with mixed feelings in various climes, but it does not change the fact that it is an aspect of art that lends voice to the voiceless.
Paintings are expressions of innermost feelings, desires and aspirations. Some dumb persons express themselves through their paintings. Graffiti is an arm of painting that goes beyond just brush strokes in a seedy area by exuberant youths, it is a medium for voices of social change.
Though in many cities, graffiti is associated with decay, in various cities it is legal and within limits and valued as a form of social expression .These are the cities we see our artistes shooting musical videos or hosting shows.
The beauty of graffiti can be seen and admired in Fela’s Kalakuta Shrine, Ojodu Berger Street in Lagos, Ozumba Mbadiwe Street in Lagos, Aro Meta, Second roundabout Lekki, Falomo Bridge etc.
Graffiti lends so much beauty that captivates the viewer and with the use of brush strokes, also passes across a message of unity, love, strength, assertion etc. Most times, graffiti can be used to propel political ideologies, a cry for help, clamour for peace and a whole lot more.
Graffiti, which is rarely in Nigeria as opposed to other climes, is something we need to invest in, most times people are of the opinion that graffiti is only done in slums. Graffiti could turn a dirty wall into a captivating sight, more so in a country where people, in one way or the other, would want to share their views, these would be a healthy way to express their emotions.
Technology has also infiltrated into the world of graffiti, if the beauty graffiti reflects is needed, there are also digital graffiti walls, this is a recent development in the entertainment industry which give allure to a location through digitised graffiti. Graffiti can also be used as a form of corporate advertising.
The infusion and appreciation of graffiti in our entertainment world will put a stop to the incessant flights to other countries by our artistes whenever they want to shoot a movie or music video. Graffiti is art and all works of arts work together including music and film, making all aim to send a message to the viewer hence they are intertwined.
The allure of graffiti can produce an ethereal location for shooting a video, hence there is no need to fly out and pay for space in other countries, enriching them when we are not in need of walls to display art in our own dear country. Hence graffiti should be encouraged in this country, places like FESTAC town, National Theatre Iganmu and other edifices built to propagate art should not be left in the decrepit condition in which they are, let the beauty of art be reflected through graffiti , art is not meant to be subdued, hence let it speak out through its various forms.