Just imagine this scenario – you have to regularly commute to work through pedestrian subways and tunnels and are appalled by the dirty side walls that greet you every day. The local council is not interested in cleaning them up as it’s a recurring expenditure. Their point of view? A citizen is not inconvenienced in any way; it’s just a matter of aesthetics. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a solution for dirty walls? Obviously it would. Welcome to the world of the graffiti artist with a purpose – of making the world a bit more beautiful than what it really is.
There is generally a code of conduct for graffiti artists and that is not to write or draw on a wall or building without permission. But in this case not only would nobody bother, in fact it would be quite welcome. Artists have been known to leave their mark on dirty walls through a simple message or a painting without going through the elaborate process of cleaning them up. This is because a grimy wall has to be scrubbed with strong cleaning solutions that have harsh chemicals and are toxic in nature. Using mild natural cleaning products, though good for the environment, would not have the desired effect. Hence artists who liven up dirty walls with attractive graffiti actually do a service to society.
A case in point is Paul Curtis popularly known as Moose who creates graffiti on dirty sidewalks and tunnels in Leeds, UK. His tools of trade are a shoe brush, water and elbow grease. The Leeds City Council is in a fix on how to deal with Moose who is making urban life a tad better to live in.