Graffiti Posts

Vulgar Graffiti

Paul Lundgren Saturday EssayThe most common word in graffiti is “fuck.” It often appears by itself — a single word left for others to ponder for decades or else paint over. It is probably meant to express general dissatisfaction with life. An expanded version of the sentiment might read: “I wish to say ‘fuck you’ to every random person who passes here. Such is my anger with the state of affairs in this world and the specific circumstances I deal with in my personal life. Though most people are not necessarily responsible for the things that upset me, I nonetheless hold everyone in contempt.”

It is also not uncommon to see the word “shit” spray painted as a one-word message, which leads me to believe the act of graffiti is often more about exercising the ability to be profane in a public and semi-permanent way than about getting across an idea. At least, I hope so. It seems unlikely that graffiti artists write “fuck” and “shit” as instructions to encourage public fornication and defecation. If they did, they could be much clearer by writing, for example, “shit here.”

There are actual graffiti artists who paint brilliant and thought-provoking murals on concrete pillars, the sides of train cars and so on, but their rebel collages are a bit less common than the scribbled words of the artistically challenged.

Sunshine Rock

Sunshine1ML

One of the more recognizable hunks of mineral matter in the Duluth area is Sunshine Rock. It’s located in Hermantown on Stebner Road between Morris Thomas and Hermantown roads.

There are two things about this rock I’m curious to know:

1) How long has “Sunshine 1ML” been painted on it? I’m certain that particular graffiti goes back at least 25 years.

2) What does “Sunshine 1ML” refer to? The rock happens to be sitting one mile outside of Duluth city limits, so maybe that has something to do with it, but it sits on the south side of Stebner facing northbound traffic, so it’s only noticed by cars heading out of Duluth. Is the insinuation that the sun only shines one mile outside Duluth?

Fremont Spurm

FremontSpurm

Interesting Duluth Restroom Graffiti

Which public lavatories in the Duluth area have the most interesting graffiti?

Graffiti Graveyard: Let us in!!!

As a graffiti artist, I feel the city should open up that desolate spot under the bridge again, so artists like myself don’t have to be in constant fear of our police department. I also believe that Duluth should have designated legal graffiti areas, like many other cities around the world. The reason we do what we do is because galleries won’t accept our work as “art.” They never even glance at the little guy. All we’re trying to do is make our mark on the world.

Beating it under the Ninth Street Bridge

BeatThis1992

Above is a photo from the old Ripsaw magazine showing the famous “Beat it” tag underneath the Ninth Street Bridge over Chester Creek. The tag is dated Oct. 1, 1992, and was reportedly painted over when the bridge was renovated in 2003.

Below is the updated tag, as it appears today. I don’t know how long it’s been there like this.

Beat it ... slap

The age-old question is: How did you do that? You are the one who did it, right? Why is the new tag backward?

Chester Park Graffiti?

Has anyone else seen the recent graffiti at the bottom of Chester Park. WDIO had a short feature on it. They “tagged” in the park and the neighborhood including houses and vehicles.

And what does 2.7.5. refer to? Searching the interwebs the top hit is the Twitter handle for @ink2flasyy the 21-year old Ontario man who flipped his car after tweeting about driving drunk. Google also tells me that it could refer to Blackland Raider Klan, an underground rap group started by SpaceGhostPurrp, down in Miami. That or they are big fans of the Python 2.7.5. release. Either way it isn’t cool once you start defacing neighborhoods.

I’ve never had an issue with some of Duluth graffiti havens but the side of an F-150 is not the same as the Graffiti Graveyard.

Closing Graffiti Graveyard?

The Minnesota Dept. of Transportation is posting no trespassing signs up at the entrance of graffiti graveyard.

Graffiti in Duluth

I’m currently working on a small photography project, and was looking for tips on where to find spots with graffiti in Duluth, especially West Duluth.

West Duluth Graffiti Art

P1000420 quarrymap Cleanin' the Place Up P1000415 Nice! P1000404 P1000405 P1000418 P1000419

Ridiculous Amount of Graffiti in Duluth

Is it just me, or is there an insane amount of vandalism in Duluth this spring? It seems like everywhere I go there’s a bunch of random scribbles on everything. I’m even seeing it on the sides of people’s houses! I went for a walk down in the ol’ Canal Park this morning, the first time this year since the thaw, only to be pretty disappointed by what I found.

Mike Page, Mike Fitzsimmons and Tom Houle | Duluth graffiti that wouldn’t fade away

PageFitzsimmonsHoule2010

I first took notice of this graffiti in the late 1980s. It’s on the side of the old West Duluth Hotel building, which for many years now has been home to the Italian Village, along with various other businesses.

Graffiti Timeline

SmokeDope

I recently came across this photograph of myself observing graffiti at an I-35 underpass in West Duluth, probably from 1997 or 1998. So I went back and rephotographed the spot to show how the graffiti has changed.

VulgarGraffiti

The experience inspired my column in this week’s Transistor. It also made me think that it might be a fun art project to photograph one of the bare concrete walls when the I-35 reconstruction is completed and return to photograph it whenever new graffiti shows up, then string them together ten years later for a little video. Of course, I’m not actually going to do that — it’s just an idea.