The world of graffiti is much more complex than the perceived notion of a young kid with a can of spray paint working under cloak and dagger to write obscenities on public or private property.
There are tagging territories, etiquette, and often times a cast of art directors and planners who make the work happen. It takes time, planning, and money to create elaborate murals… so imagine the frustration a group of artists feel knowing their work will be gone in less than 10-days under most city rules.
The city of Vancouver tried to address this by creating the Graffiti Management Program to help channel street art and give it a place in the community. Artists are given paint, supplies, and a canvas in a city sanctioned location.
The Granville Bridge is one such location. The underbelly of bridges can be rather dodgy at the best of times; however, the city has made the underside of Granville parkish with public art, pretty little pathways, and elaborate graffiti.
The back alleyways between Gastown, West Hastings, and West Pender are another area where you can find amazing graffiti. This area now attracts tourists and photographers in place of junkies, crime, and drug dealers.
And, don’t forget about the Beatty Street Murals created for the Olympics.
Below are examples of art found around town (except the Beatty Street Murals).