Friday, March 28, 2014

Honolulu Graffiti Art (Oahu)

Re-viewing Honolulu through the lens of graffiti art provided a tantilizing window to gain a glimpse of the underground urban subculture that emerged within an environment marked by towering luxury highrises, patterns of bottle necked vehicles, and a pristine ocean border. Not your expected cityscape for an urban art movement. 

{Love the flying spam musubi and floral lei in the piece above. Graffiti art with Hawaii motifs--pretty sweet!}

This interesting mural depicts the Hawaiian spirits and urban development of Honolulu to the left, with the political lyrics of IZ's song "Hawaii 78" cited on the upper right. This piece offers social commentary of urbanization; yet it is ironic that graffiti art itself is a direct expression and cultural product of the very urban experience that is being critiqued. 

Plumeria, rainbows and hair as ocean waves (outside the frame of this pic).

Famous graffiti artist :)

I like that this one says "Aloha Family"

Reminiscent of Keith Haring but with local icons--shave ice, pineapple and sunglasses 

Dancing coconut, Makapu lighthouse, and a Hawaiian sunset over the Pacific. 

Titled "Honolulu City Lights"

Really neat spray paint technique when you look close up. 

Most of these murals can be seen in various parking lots and walls throughout Honolulu (and especially the Kaka'ako district). It was fascinating for me to re-see familiar everyday spaces through the lens of graffiti art. I've been to Office Max many a time, for example, but I never thought to look at the back alley of the store to see what lay behind. 

The exciting thing about Honolulu is that graffiti art is just need to adjust your visual lens to see it. :)

{mahalo to PA for the up close and personal Honolulu urban art tour}

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