Who said that graffiti art needs to be marginalised to be up there?
In Germany, it is very common to see graffitis on railway vehicles since the mid 1980‘s, shortly after graffiti art made it’s way over to Europe from the USA.
In the night between the 23rd and 24th of March 1985, the first window-down end to end graffiti on a train was sprayed in Germany. The train became famous as Geltendorf-Train which was sprayed on a total length of 54 m. This marked the start of an ongoing ‚battle‘ between graffiti-artists, (simple) vandalists and train/railway vehicle owners.
High cost, high danger
In 2016, the estimated total removal cost of illegal paintings on trains and other railway vehicles in Germany added up to a total (officially estimated) cost of 13 million Euro (approx. 23 million NZD).
Spraying on railway vehicles is not expensive and illegal in many countries, such as Germany, but it is also dangerous for the graffiti artist as it exposes them to a potential threat for their lives (electrocution through living wires).
Easy fix?! ART on RAILS initiative
Instead of continuing to see graffiti art on railway vehicles as a negative form of rebellion and fostering ongoing mutual rejection, a collaboration between artists and railway vehicle owners should be sought! Immediately!
Let’s work together and form an alliance. Graffiti artists and railway vehicle owners collaborate to decriminalise graffiti on rails. And our transportation networks gets more colourful!
Goal: Paint railway vehicles according to a joint plan using the vehicles as ‚canvas‘.
Advantage: Marginalised artists get a platform to express themselves and companies avoid reoccuring (unproductive) costs.
Talented graffiti artists apply within!