Commissioning graffiti is like buying sex.
I really like European capital cities.
Berlin is probably my favourite.
I find Berlin richly experiential and layered.
Copenhagen is smart and sophisticated and welcoming.
Barcelona overwhelming and colourful.
Paris, though a little contrived, I find seductive and romantic.
And in all of these cities I am drawn to the graffiti.
I find it so revealing and interesting.
Rebellious and raw.
Free and fervent.
And – I think – I can tell which graffiti is real and which is not.
By ‘real’ I mean it’s probably been created under cover of the night.
And there are messages that I can see and – I sense – messages that I can’t see.
It is authentically unruly.
The exact opposite in fact, of commissioned graffiti.
The kind of sterile adornment that Local Authorities might commission.
To control and to confine.
To get the creative to colour inside the lines.
To justify, cost and consider.
Thus rendering the graffiti soulless.
And – ultimately and in retrospect.
Horribly unfulfilling for the viewer.
And for the doer.
And that’s why I think that commissioning graffiti is like buying sex.