WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Old

Yes, I’m getting a late start on last week’s challenge, but better late than never! This past week’s WordPress Photo Challenge theme was Old, and having just returned from Italy, I had plenty of “old” to choose from, but I wanted to shoot for the less obvious, so how about this: Old Graffiti!

Old graffiti in the Vatican, Italy

Graffiti dates back to the 19th century in Raphael's Rooms in the Vatican

It seems there’s nothing new about the apparent need for some people to leave their mark in public spaces. I overheard a guide telling his group that he had found some dating back to the 1830s–and with the level of security in place in the Vatican and other monuments, it is not likely that these scrawlings are recent.

Old Graffiti in the Vatican. M Snook 2011

Close up of Vatican Graffiti, Raphaels Rooms

Some columns in the Colosseum were covered with names carved into the ancient bricks. I can’t help but wonder, historically speaking, who was the first?

Old Grafiti, Colleseum, Rome, Italy, ©Margaret Snook 2011

Carved graffiti in the Colosseum in Rome

Can we consider the ancient cave paintings to also be a form of graffiti?

And when did it first become a crime to appropriate public space for personal expression?

Looking for some contemporary Chilean graffiti? Start with Good Graf.

For other contributions to the “Old” theme: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

You can also see past Cachando Chile WP Weekly Photo Challenge entries here:

Theme: Ocean

Theme: Shadow

Theme: Light

16 responses to “WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Old

  1. I like your unusual take on old! I’ve never thought of graffiti as being historic LOL 🙂

  2. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Lines « Flickr Comments

  3. Interesting to confirm that people have been destructively ignorant throughout the ages.
    I wonder what old Chilean graffiti would be like.
    Non Huevearum ?

  4. @Rob W – Love your sense of humour. Regarding your question (wondering) about old Chilean graffiti, I am pretty sure it consisted primarily “of puras weas nomas”, lol. Sorry English speaking readers, I don’t have a clue how to begin translating such a colloquial and “not suitable to all ages” expression.

  5. Good Morning all… I have been giving some serious thought to this idea of the history of graffiti, when graffiti is defined as personal markings on public space. I think I’ve discovered a new obsession! Would love to hear what others think!

  6. Good Morning to you Margaret. This is another subject that someone with your background could shed a lot of light on for us ‘lay’ folks (can you see I’ve lived in the U.S.? Nobody talks about ‘folks’ around here) From time immemorial it seems, mankind has had the urge to both record and express its mind on all sorts of places and objects, and we can all be grateful to our ancestors for having done so. I guess the only time we do not appreciate this kind of expression is when the ‘artist’ chooses my walls as his canvass. Graffiti – the artistic kind – looks wonderful provided is done on public places, but not on my walls, like the side of my house or my place of business.
    Look forward to reading your take on this fascinating subject.

  7. To see some walls and houses with black scripts that no one can understand here in Temuco annoys me. On the other hand, when a wall owner allows some artist to paint it with something more elaborated, the results can be impressive.
    There are old (relatively) graffitis in Temuco, with a lot of expression and meaning, but even then the other dudes try to paint their stupid black scripts over them.
    I´ll try to take pictures of some graffitis here in Temuco to post them. They´re not in old latin, but some of them are nice xD I think that some good graffitis should be restored and treated with care.

  8. Hi Marmo- I certainly agree that “Tags”- those scribbled “I was here” markings are just vandalism, but I love street ART.
    Would love to see what’s there in Temuco. If you post on your blog, I’ll link to it! Or if you don’t want to post it on your blog, I would love to have you do a guest post here!

  9. Por motivos que desconozco, el último comentario que puse no aparece, pero ultra feliz estoy sacando fotos por aquí y por allá. Espero pronto poder compartirlas, sería todo un honor.

  10. Hola Marmo-
    Yo no tengo otro comentario tuyo después de ese arriba del domingo. ¡qué curioso!
    Pero feliz que aportarás y compartirás grafiti de Temuco! Cuando estás llisto, puedes enviármelo por email–¿te parece?

  11. Hi Margaret
    Off course! I already have some pictures and some curiosities!

  12. Very interesting, not just your post (like always) but also the discussion that followed. I completely agree with John Carr on this one. Not just private property, some people have the urge to inscribe their presence on animate objects like tree barks and cacti stems. Legality aside, it’s about being tasteful. If a beautiful mural is painted on the wall of a willing owner, and he decides to maintain it too later, it is encouraging. Explicit or religiously preachy gibberish is more harmful if it has a negative influence, on those who are easily coerced or convinced, as the case may be.

  13. Hi Kamakshi-
    Yes, I always enjoy the comments after the initial post. I’m not interested in my own monologue–I like to have a conversation with others about a given topic.
    Good point on willingness. It’s a big issue. Graffiti artists have their own take on the matter, and I sit somewhere on the fence. I truly hate seeing cities and–as you point out–nature marred by tags, but I love to see the urban landscape painted with meaningful expression. It’s true, I probably wouldn’t want my own house painted without my permission–but it would also depend on the message expressed.
    I have another post on this topic coming up soon (today I hope)–written by our good friend Marmo.

  14. @Kamakshi. I am a lucky man! There is ONE person on this planet who agrees with me. Thanks again Kamakshi, I’m going out to celebrate. Seriously though, when I post my thoughts here or on other blogs, my intention is to see what other viewers have to say. Of course, sometimes my ego gets in the way, but I think it only shows I’m normal (almost).

  15. I found many grafitis painted over walls with their owner´s permission, and those were the best ones. You´ve got to have something good enough if you´re willing to ask the wall owner to paint your grafiti on it.
    On the other hand, I´m sure none of the jiberish I saw painted on some walls were made with thumbs up from the owner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s