Conversations With My Mother: Art vs Graffiti

Awhile back, Mom and I were driving together…

Wait, let me start over.  Awhile back, Mom was driving and I was in the passenger seat hanging on for dear life and crying from sheer terror, when we got stopped at a railroad crossing.  As the train went by we could see various words and pictures that had been spray painted on the train cars.  This sparked a debate over whether these colorful pieces of work were “art” or “graffiti”.

Mom:  Look at that beautiful art work!

Me:  That’s graffiti.  Also known as vandalism.

Mom:  That’s not graffiti, it’s art.  Not everyone can do such good work you know.

Me:  Clearly the vandals can.  I wonder what their probation officer would think.

Mom:  Lisa!  If you look at the detail of…

Me in my mind while Mom is lecturing:  I wonder if I could get Mom to buy me lunch.  Eww, look at that dead racoon.  I’m not that hungry anymore.  Yes I am…

Mom:  …then clearly you can see it’s art.

Just as Mom finished her argument, a train car with the gigantic word “PUSSY” tagged on it passes across our view.  We watched in silence as it left our sight.  Mom took a moment to regroup while we both tried to contain our laughter.  I looked over at her with an expression that announced I had clearly won this argument, and I motioned with my hand towards the train.

Sarcastic Me:  You’re right…there’s your freakin’ art!


17 responses to “Conversations With My Mother: Art vs Graffiti

  1. we have a “graffiti wall” in my town and the other day there were a couple of dudes painting over it. I was sort of bummed about them covering up the art on the wall, but the next day where they had painted over was a brand new gorgeous work of graffiti. I think it’s a cool art form.


    • I actually agree with you. Minus the word Pussy flashing by, most of the other stuff was neat. I can appreciate the talent because I have none. Apparently stick people art is not in high demand.


  2. Well, it was an artfully done “pussy”


  3. There is nothing like an artfully done… never mind…
    This made me laugh.
    But let us take a moment to poder the fate of the Vandals, an ancient tribe who were so destructive, that to this day, we call randomly defacing or destroying things ‘vandalism’.
    I wonder if, when they conquered a city, the first thing they did was paint naughty words all over the walls in really bright colors..
    Just something to think about, I guess…


  4. As someone who’s done a fair amount of exploration of the word as well as the body part, it depends on a few things: intent, execution, etc. It’s possible the graffiti was really art but, unless the artist’s name was Banksy, I’ll bet any amount it wasn’t.


  5. Haha that’s awesome! I also love your thought process as your mom was explaining her argument.


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