Graffiti written in huge, stark black letters on a grey brick passageway in a quiet suburban estate in Stillorgan, Dublin, Ireland, beside "Jayo stinks" and "Free Kevin Spacey".
It's not the most creative or unusual statement, and doesn't fall into the 'found art' category, but this almost broke my heart. I had a very clear vision of a young man writing it at night for his young pregnant girlfriend or wife, and the confusion and regret in his mind.
The usual graffiti in cities falls into two categories:
However, there are rare examples of wrenchingly emotional and honest graffiti, most often found on the back of toilet doors in red pen, for example:
I dont know what Im doing please help this is a bad bad day for me
Usually, this kind of graffiti gets surrounded by commentators telling the author to get a life or stop whining, or accusing him of being homosexual (being male, my experience of female toilet-door graffiti is limited). However, "TEEN BRIDE IM SORRY" was uncommentated, dominating the wall, a solitary statement so incongruous and honest that no one has written over it or cleaned it off for the 6 years that I have been passing it by.
There are lots of things I'd like to think - that things worked out okay for the teen bride and the graffiti author, that there really was a teen bride, that it wasn't just some unthought drunken scrawl or the name of a local punk band. But it doesn't really matter. I nearly cried, and I thought about it and wrote about it, and it has been part of a change in my perception of public spaces, and how they can be used by city dwellers to express collective sentiments and thoughts. So, even if there never was a teen bride, she became famous anyway, and nobody knows the difference.