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!

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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.

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    • 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.

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

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  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…

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  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.

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

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