Bathroom Graffiti Project

Archiving the World's Bathroom Graffiti

I'm a sophomore nonfiction writing major, and I'm looking to write a piece about bathroom graffiti and those who create it. The story will aim to highlight the artistic integrity and expressive liberation that bathroom graffiti offers. Below are a few questions that you can either feel free to respond to within this thread or by private message. Answer one, answer all, or simply respond to others' answers.

Finally, if you live New York City, and are willing to meet with me for a few hours from March 7-16 to discuss the topic in person, some compensation may be available for your help. You can remain anonymous if you'd like.

- How did you get started with bathroom graffiti? Was there a specific moment when you realized it was culturally or personally significant?
- If you're an artist, describe what you consider your best work.
- What do you think of the janitors who clean up graffiti in bathrooms? Is it censorship?
- What is it about public restrooms that seems to warrant some artistic embellishment? Does it even have anything to do with the intended purpose of restrooms?
- Distinguish between visual graffiti (drawings, etc.) and "poetry"-type graffiti? Is one more "artistic" than the other? What is the most eloquent/thought-provoking bathroom stall poetry that you can recall?
- Tell me a fun/scary/strange/depressing/happy story involving bathroom graffiti, if you have one.

Thanks guys. Your help is appreciated.

- Ben

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Hey,
I know this is an old post but I'm doing a project on Bathroom Graffiti myself and was wondering if you could tell me how your's went.

derrick.
i wuz bored & sorta hung out in the menz roomz on campus to smoke & cruise guyz i had seen graffiti b4 but found it mostly dull @best so i began to write essays about what wuz goin down socially/sexually in the menzroomz especially in the administration building & the so called sociology lab im not really an artist but clearly most of th guyz drawing wernt either i often wud werk long hourz preparing stuff in my room then bring it to the menzroomz & illuminate my writingz with collage illustrations of guyz having sex in publik places i knew guyz got off in restrooms alone in pairs & sumtymez groups but never actually saw it happen until i wuz in college i wuz certainly interested & certainly participated but i still felt it needed to be written about & what better place to write about it than the stall wallz right ive travelled a bit about the states & have noticed that most of the restroom graffiti izza a bit vulgar tho sumtymes a guy wud hit on sumthin cool & i wud simply elaborate with an essay i wuz usually able to fill an entire wall with one essay not including artwerk once i filled an entire stall sortof an installation piece i figured the space wuz ther why not use it i knew frum studying ancient history that graffiti had benna round forever & i felt i wantid to add to the long tradition of it also my werk wuz often scrubbed off by janitors over night while cruder werks such az the ever popular suk my dick etc wer often left up it sed to me that my werk wuzza threat to some people & while i wuz more amused than enything else i do feel my werk wuz censored i think the most beautiful thing i ever saw written onna stall wall wuz actually quite brief -embracing we dissolve in streamz az ungathered manna to be consumed by nations unaware- finally i had ben writng in restroomz on campus for almost a year sumtymez everyday other tymez onna weekly basis one morning on my way to my campus job in the art gallery/museum az i passed my favorite restroom i noticed a cop standing outside i went in actin all natural ther wer several forensics people taking prints offa one of my essays the dean of stoodintz wuz ther az well az other official guyz i tooka piss washed my handz & split after that i started werkin on the menzroom in the fine artz building same shit followed me ther so i quit & startid just being very random about my werk i alwayz carry a sharpie with me tho these daze i limit my self to single sentences that happen to be a bit more literate than the average linez found about publik toiletz
- How did you get started with bathroom graffiti? Was there a specific moment when you realized it was culturally or personally significant?
I just found some of the messages left very clever and humorous and decided to join in. also i really like leaving things for people to find that will make them go "who does stuff like this??"
- If you're an artist, describe what you consider your best work.
a painting i did of a close up on a baby's face.
- What do you think of the janitors who clean up graffiti in bathrooms? Is it censorship?
nah, they're just doin' their job. it's society that does the censoring.
- What is it about public restrooms that seems to warrant some artistic embellishment? Does it even have anything to do with the intended purpose of restrooms?
"Since writing on toilet walls is done neither for critical acclaim nor financial rewards, it is the purest form of art."
-a bathroom wall
- Distinguish between visual graffiti (drawings, etc.) and "poetry"-type graffiti? Is one more "artistic" than the other? What is the most eloquent/thought-provoking bathroom stall poetry that you can recall?
well that's a tough one. i would say as far as bathrooms go, written "poetry has more potential to be "artistic" than drawings. but I'm more of a fan of the humorous one's myself.
- Tell me a fun/scary/strange/depressing/happy story involving bathroom graffiti, if you have one.
i found this convo pretty funny
http://www.graffitiproject.com/photo/paper-debate
Did you ever finish your bathroom graffiti story?  If so want to publish it here?  Would love to read it.

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