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Eight before-and-after graffiti transformations that create beauty out of blankness

Graffiti artists get a bad rap.

But, I think that graffiti is about a lot more than just hooligans with spray paint. Check out these unbelievable photos of the ways artists the world over have transformed their neighborhoods with inspiring public art:

Glasgow, Scotland
Glasgow, Scotland
Incredible work redefines the neighborhood
Incredible work redefines the neighborhood

Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.

– Banksy, Wall and Piece

Au Fil De Loire, Brives Charensac, France
Au Fil De Loire, Brives Charensac, France
Transformation by John Pugh
Transformation by John Pugh

I laugh at the way some people think graffiti is all selfish tagging and vandalism. Thoughtful street art is like good fiction – it speaks out on behalf of everyone, for us all to see.

– Carla H. Krueger

Athens, Greece
Athens, Greece
Owl Eyes
Owl Eyes

I spray the sky fast. Eyes ahead and behind. Looking for cops. Looking for anyone I don’t want to be here. Paint sails and the things that kick in my head scream from can to brick. See this, see this. See me emptied onto a wall.

– Cath Crowley, Graffiti Moon

16th Avenue in San Francisco, California
16th Avenue in San Francisco, California
16th Avenue Reborn
16th Avenue Reborn

However, if he really wanted to bust me, all he had to do was ask to see my schoolbooks. The front and back covers are the first place graffiti artists start to draw.

– Drexel Deal, The Fight of My Life is Wrapped Up in My Father

Montpellier, France
Montpellier, France
Patrick Commecy's transformative work
Patrick Commecy’s transformative work

Blank walls are a shared canvas and we’re all artists.

– Carla H. Krueger

Before picture of a wall in Poznan, Poland
Before picture of a wall in Poznan, Poland
3D Mural in Poznan, Poland
3D Mural in Poznan, Poland

“Everyone has to scratch on walls somewhere or they go crazy

– Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion

Bialystok, Poland
Bialystok, Poland
"Let's Keep the Plants Alive"
“Let’s Keep the Plants Alive”

Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.

– Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall

Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany
Amazing transformation of wall in Berlin
Amazing transformation of wall in Berlin

Written by Kelly Mears

Kelly Mears

Kelly is the Technical Director of Other98.

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