Sunday, August 2, 2015

"Urban Graffiti" ... My view.

I  conceived this small quilt recently as my response to a Quilts On The Wall Fiber Artists call for entry "Urban Graffiti" but unfortunately it didn't make the cut.... However, it did crystallize my own feelings about graffiti in the urban landscape. I remember traveling to New York in the 1970s and feeling so smug that at least the cityscape of my native city of LA was not scarred with graffiti. Alas, of course, this is no longer true. My feelings might have been further cemented later on when our place of business was tagged - not by gang members or serious graffiti artists, but by local wannabes from the surrounding upscale neighborhood.  I spent hours scrubbing it away from a painted brick wall.
I know that in today's art world graffiti artists are subjects of study and veneration and I can certainly see that is valid in some cases, but my appreciation cannot help but be colored by my own experience and the feeling that what I've always thought of as a beautiful city is being diminished by what is painted all over its buildings and infrastructure. Certainly most of the artists that offered up work for the QOTW exhibit "Urban Graffiti" explored this artistic view of the subject and I applaud them for seeing beauty and meaning in the ugliness that I see around me.

For those interested, the quilt was constructed using a fused raw edge technique. The individual bricks were cut and fused on to a printed mottled gray fabric that served as the mortar. The letters were from a "graffiti" font I found online. The bricks were dabbed with textile paint for an aging effect and free motion quilted in various small fill patterns with silk thread. If you are wondering about the two white objects on the quilt in front of my machine, they are pieces of rubber shelf lining which I find helpful in guiding the quilt sandwich during quilting. Much better than gloves, or hoops, etc. I hate having to put on and take off gloves!

My congratulations to those QOTW members whose works were juried in to "Urban Graffiti" There are some remarkable images in the quilts that were included in the exhibit that will debut at Road to California in January 2016. I'm looking forward to seeing all of them together!

In the meantime, this quilt will soon be added to my website at and will be added for sale in my Etsy Shop

See this and other great blogs at  Off The Wall Fridays with Nina Marie Sayre

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