Graffiti consists of inscriptions, slogans and drawings scratched, scribbled or painted on a wall or any other kind public or private surface. Graffiti can be seen as a sign of urban decay, meaning graffiti is not art; it is vandalism and above all it is illegal.However, today this graffiti subculture has gained a lot of public interest. Some artist have managed to emerge from street artist to the “high-brow” art scenes.
Over all graffiti is a practice where many toxic components are used, so what some artist are trying to do now is search for alternative solutions, while still keeping a conceptually similar depiction of graffiti art, just with different approaches.
The reverse graffiti project is based on the concept of removing pollution. The artist Moose (real name Paul Curtis) is a british graffiti artist who uses instead of typical methods of graffiti, he creates his art by using cleaning products to create drawings on the wall by removing dirt. Instead of applying an image, it is taken away and power washed out dirt. The viewer is then left to see a piece of street art and simultaneously realizing just how filthy the area really is.
Despite the positive intentions that Moose had, his project still faced many legal issues. Miranda Marcus, wrote an article for the Fotorater magazine on the hypocrisy in graffiti art. “People who tell [Moose] to stop cleaning their walls and actively remove his work, are the very same who protect and restore that of Banksy. A restaurant owner in Bristol sued the council for loss of earnings when they removed the Banksy piece that had adorned his walls and New York City has recently introduced an initiative to restore and save classic graffiti. It is a problem of economics. Graffiti is becoming more institutionalized, taken into the heart of the mainstream as it has become more lucrative, but it still remains illegal. However, to some extent, that is part of the allure.”
Other reverse graffiti projects: