Beyoglu, Turkey (2013) - The term graffiti comes from the Italian word graffiato or ‘scratched.’ From a historical perspective, the term refers to inscriptions found on Roman ruins. Although today, many see graffiti as something far more vulgar, they still are an expression of every day life. They are declarations of love, curses, political statements, and even advertisements. They are dynamic, colorful, and thoughtful: they are the street stories of our time.
This image goes deeper for me. It’s a reminder that every story begins with a blank page. A blank page means infinite possibilities, and it’s the birthplace of every idea and story from the beginning of time. I ran across this painter while hoofing up the extremely hilly neighborhood of Beyoglu on the eastern edge of Istanbul. Most of the neighborhood is slathered with graffiti, and the painter was halfway through his never-ending task of covering up graffiti along a 50-meter wall.
I have no idea how long his work remained untouched after I left. However months later, I’m sure someone found inspiration to tell their story on the blank page he left behind.