I absolutely love graffiti! Not the tacky, side-of-the-highway gang signs you see thrown up by taggers, but the artistic stuff that someone actually put some time and creative energy into.
There's a building in the University District of Seattle that once was a bathhouse, then a spa, and has now been vacant for a few years. Originally a few taggers started going after it and the landlord couldn't paint over it fast enough, so he decided to simply allow the graffiti instead. Because the landlord is allowing it, it's not considered vandalism and the police can't stop it.
This building has now become one of my most favorite pieces of art in Seattle. It's ever-evolving and constantly changing. It's been taken over by real street artists who enjoy having a free and legal place to practice their skills and I see new and interesting displays every time I drive by. Most are great, some are lame, and occasionally the really stunning works of art get tagged over by random 15-year olds with nothing better to do than spray some generic letters and try to seem "bad" to their friends.
But as soon as a loser tagger comes by, a real artist is following right behind to start the cycle all over.
The building is currently slated for demolition to make way for some cookie-cutter condos and retail storefronts. Others may disagree with me, but personally, I'll be very sad to see it go.
This particular display is nothing special in topic or design, but the colors were absolutely killer and totally captivated me as I was walking by. I couldn't help but take a shot.