Anonymous Street Art by Finijo
I often drive through Houston and stop to photograph the art I see along the way. I know that much of what I see that appeals to me is part of an underground movement, and that the artists are not getting permission to share their work with the public in the way they have chosen. I don't care, because the art springing up all over Houston makes the city more habitable to me. It covers some walls, sidewalks and boarded up windows and it makes people talk and think. I think it makes Houston better for being there.
If the artists were going home to home and covering residential areas with their art, I would be able to side with the homeowner. In these cases, they are either placing their work on derelict buildings, public sidewalks and light posts, or boarded up windows. I think the art is an improvement and I think the City of Houston should start a program that would allow them to spread their art, maybe even have a volunteer program for building owners who would like artists to "tag" their structure. I suppose in the end, government sanctioned art would lose it's edge and be subject to another form of censorship, but it might also allow some of these artists to sign their work without fear and build a career out of their unique skills. Think Shepard Fairey.
Yesterday I found that a piece I photographed a few weeks ago was destroyed. I'm sure it was in the name of legality, but when I look at the way it was covered and see how truly ugly it is now, I can't help but think it was punitive. Perhaps a way to punish the anonymous artist by destroying his work with something that resembles censorship. The artists work was redacted and in its place is a blank space. The artist in me cannot help but hope that the anonymous artist whose work was blotted out, will use that fresh white paint as a canvas and repaint what was destroyed.