Best Graffiti (2009)

Behind La Piñata

The word "graffiti" usually conjures up images of property value-reducing scrawls, writ large over the sides of houses, fences, and local businesses. That's tagging, and we're on the phone

to the city hotline to get it covered up as quickly as the next guy. But all graffiti isn't vandalism. Sometimes, it's art. And, oddly enough, the best example of graffiti art in town isn't stretched out in public. In an alley behind La Piñata, the Mexican restaurant on 19th Avenue just north of Osborn Road, is our Louvre of mural-based graffiti. Unlike some spots where graffiti is thrown up without permission, here the work is encouraged by the local businesses, and the paint donated by Montana Spanish Paints. Nearly 100 feet of urban landscape, including aliens, weirdos, flaming hubcaps, burning motorcycles, purple people, and an impressively large color block pattern almost 20 feet high, lines the back of the little strip mall. Instead of bland, boring, and illegal, these vivid murals, although hidden, are reminders that all graffiti isn't vandalism. A little permission, a little paint, and a little skill make all the difference.

Best of Phoenix 2009 In Photos


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