Monday, April 16, 2012

Legal grafitti, St. Louis

While grafitti is considered to be criminal defacement of property and a sure sign of urban decay there is a place in St.  Louis where it is completely legal, even encouraged.  Since 1996, Paint Louis, has attracted local and nationally known grafitti artists to tag a 20′ high concrete flood wall with distinctive signatures and murals creating a work of art that extends for 2 miles starting  just south of downtown. The wall runs through industrial areas rarely seen by the public but most of it is just a few blocks over from Broadway, a major thoroughfare.  It is easily accessible but admittedly I have always felt that the area was a little sketchy, the other kind, even in the daytime.   The Paint Louis blog links to a Google Street View which shows a  portion of the length of the grafitti wall.

Grafitti Wall, 04/15/2012, Michael Anderson, watercolor heightened with gouache, Arches 140lb cold pressed, 10″ x 14″.


  1. Paint Louis--very clever. Great how you represented the graffitted surface with close up more detailed and then receding into less so. Interesting public art project. Though too bad a more diserable locale wasn't handed over to the wild creative sorts (AKA artists).

  2. How completely COOL. I love some tag art...some of the railroad cars are GORGEOUS...

    Beautifully done, Michael, and congratulations St. Louis for such creative thinking!

  3. Thanks for your comments Marcia, Barbara & Kate! The wall is not in the most visible or desireable location but it is a perfect showcase for grafitti writers. Their work adds a lot of visual interest to an otherwise bleak area. m


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