world of graffiti

World of Graffiti

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I’ve noticed that the more I travel the more interested I become in smaller intricacies of each city I see – particularly graffiti. Having just come back home to Malatya from almost three weeks of traveling in Istanbul, Germany and Israel, I am amazed by the amount of amazingly artistic work I saw and the range of topics covered. Particularly interesting was how a large portion of all the art was in English – I guess the world of graffiti is flat.

world of graffiti
Welcome to Tel Aviv – The city’s watching you

When Jen came to visit, we spent a good portion of our last night in Istanbul wandering the side streets off of Istiklal – one of the centers of nightlife on the European side of the city. By chance we stumbled upon Kartal Sokak, if I remember correctly, a small alley of a street covered in graffiti with small cafes between pictures.

World of Graffiti

World of Graffiti

I especially love these two contradictory images; how the first piece decries living in the city and holds up a more basic rural life, whereas the second piece says “Life is in the street.”

After Jen returned to America, I went on to Germany where I met up with my mom. Surprisingly – or maybe not actually all of that a surprise now that I think of it – there was almost no visible graffiti in Germany at all. When there was, it was generally not anything worth remembering, just being some basic tagging and squiggles.

World of Graffiti

This alleyway in Freiburg Im Breisgau was the only real place with graffiti I saw passing through Germany. I suppose this lack of street art though was more than made up for by the overall beauty of the cities and the countryside. I should have expected there to be very little graffiti too, since we stayed exclusively in the renovated historic sections of cities.

world of graffiti
Maybe some of the coolest graffiti I’ve ever seen – courtesy of Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv, like Istanbul, also had some fantastic displays of graffiti. The best I found in the city was concentrated closer to the shore, mostly around a breakwater sticking straight out into the Mediterranean.

world of graffiti

I primarily went to Israel to visit my friend Mike, but we did plenty of exploring too (posts to come!). One of the cities we visited was Tzfat (or Safed, depending upon how you transliterate it). The city is the historic center of Jewish mysticism, and a large portion of the city was dedicated to an artists quarter, in the middle of which was an amphitheater and this graffiti.

world of graffiti

I love the contrast between the intricately done power pox, and then the simple and powerful hand. To be fair and bring it full circle, here is some graffiti from Malatya too – short and sweet, just like the city.

world of graffiti
“What did you do for God today?”

10 thoughts on “World of Graffiti”

  1. My favorite is still the Rajan quote! I really love the power box that someone used as their canvas though. It almost seems like a miniature portal into another world.

    1. Right? There have been multiple times when I looked at that power box (in real life and in the picture) and was taken aback by a second thinking it was a real person. The picture of Rajan was also just super well done and detailed. “Personality is a Mask” still takes it for me, though.

  2. I like these graffiti pics! Yeah, I’ve found that over the past couple years I’ve grown to appreciate street art much more as well. There are a lot of good pieces of artwork in Tel Aviv near the Port (where we visited that one night) that you didn’t get to see unfortunately.

    1. Thanks, man! I spent a good chunk of time during my wanderings around Tel Aviv finding them while you were busy – got a lot of weird looks too taking pictures of them. Guess I’ll just need to come back and visit Tel Aviv again to see the Port.

  3. I love street art! Well, the ones that actually show some artistic or message behind the graffiti. I could care less if “Dan was here” kinds of graffiti. I did notice when I was in Germany that all the street art is located in Berlin. Man, I can’t even tell you where a naked wall is in Berlin. The whole city was covered with political, comical, and thought provoking street art. It was definitely dope.

    I really like the old man street art. It’s like he is looking into my soul. LOL Very cool.

    1. Yeah, I’m really not a big fan of that tagging street art either – that just seems petty. I’m sad I missed out on all the dope art in Berlin, though – I guess this just gives me an excuse to go back to Germany! If I ever make my way there I’ll be sure to let you know and ask for suggestions.

  4. I love these photos and the idea of photographing graffiti in different countries. Growing up, my parents had a great photo in the house that my father had taken in NYC in the early 70s: of a wall with beautiful graffiti that said “what is art?”.

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