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As a kid growing up in the US, I have always regarded graffiti as somewhat of a bad thing; ugly self-expression that someone has to clean up.  Always, that is, until I spent three months in Europe and witnessed some amazingly beautiful street art that was undoubtedly created by talented and creative individuals.

The work of graffiti artist Banksy has caught my attention lately.  Many of his images are political and have a very clear message, but practically all of them are exceedingly well thought-out, well executed, and tremendously creative.  One of the best things about graffiti is its ability to catch people off-guard; works show up over-night and unexpectedly.  Banksy certainly uses this to his advantage and sends his message with a clear voice.  He keeps the general public on their toes, exactly where they should be.

(image from