I'm sure you've heard that familiar proverb that the "eyes are the windows to the soul." It is so true, now more than ever, as oftentimes all that we can glimpse of each other's faces are our eyes. Unsure of what our classmates, neighbors, friends, and even family look like behind the mask, all we are left to do is decode what is left: our eyes.
But even with COVID going on, with our limited movement and our limited sight, we are still able to see glimpses of the city around us. And while eyes may be the windows to the soul in humanity, the window to the soul of the city is graffiti.
At the heart of every city is an artist, a starving, unrecognized individual who leaves their mark on the city. And whilst some graffiti is unwelcome, we know that there are many artists who are made famous by their art in murals that they paint on sides of buildings. The art that brings communities together and that brings hope to the people who walk by.
Art is something that can save a person, a city, in times of need, but also express the deepest wishes, struggles, and tribulations of a community. And thus, graffiti is something that does just that.
Being in Germany, along with being drawn to the beautiful architecture and environment, I've found myself drawn to the art I've found all over. There are many beautiful pieces of artwork that I have found all over the city. There is even artwork on the back of signs on the autobahn, so when you're driving in the opposite direction you can see each unique letter or picture.
And although there is some less pleasant graffiti out there, I want to take a moment to focus on and appreciate the beauty in many of these artistic renditions of the world around us.
Street art takes on many shapes and sizes. Murals are a form of artwork, and they can help express ideas, sentiments, and even communities through their artwork.
This amazing mural on the streets of Strasbourg reads, in French, "Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world" (Google Translate). Not only is this true on many levels, but it also represents how important messages can be conveyed through street art.
When I was visiting Garmisch-Partenkirchen, there were also beautiful murals on the sides of the building. They depict a beautiful, natural life that is lost in cities.
In Triberg (pronounced Treeburg), I found these cute murals:
And by just driving or walking around, I've found murals like these:
Art is a type of expression that is seen in both individuals and communities. When I travel around Europe, I get to see all different styles of artistic expression, from more abstract works to more literal pieces, to even pieces that have more direct written positive messages! Our world has so many hidden wonders in it, and some can be found on the sides of buildings, electrical boxes, and even under bridges! It's hard to imagine what our world would be like without art and its beauty.
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