Graffiti versus Street Art – A History

Graffiti versus Street Art – A History

Human beings seem to have a strong impulse to leave their mark. To tell the world that they were here. Unlike other animals we know we’re going to die and leaving some sort of physical mark behind is one way of ensuring our symbolic survival. Of course animals mark their territories too with scent and claw marks, urine and faeces, but humans appear to have an obvious long term intent beyond the marking of territory or the finding of a mate. And perhaps these drives also play their part in our activities.

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This Wall Intentionally Left Blank

This Wall Intentionally Left Blank

Tagging is a curse for many building owners.  The City Council’s Graffiti Programme responds to around 1200 incidents of tagging a month and painting over this graffiti costs greater Wellington ratepayers over half a million dollars every year.

One way to combat graffiti attacks is to commission a local  street artist or muralist.

Many building owners are surprised that there are many qualified artists who will paint something colorful and beautiful on their building for a similar price to what  a professional painting company would charge  to paint the wall grey (or any other color). Many artists are reactive to the situation and the history of the structure they are painting on and happy to produce work in consultation with the building’s owner. A site-specific work can be an aid in branding your building or business and even adding value. Instead of just a street number its now the building with the giant elephant painted on it!

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Ellen Coup – Interview with Bruce Mahalski

Ellen Coup – Interview with Bruce Mahalski

If you live in Wellington you will be familiar with Ellen Coup’s art work whether you know her name or not. Ellen is a forty-four year old prolific mural painter who was born in Christchurch but now lives in Raumati. She specializes in scenes depicting New Zealand’s flora and fauna – at least this has been the subject matter of many of her well-known murals. Bruce Mahalski recently had a coffee and a chat with Ellen and asked her about her work.

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