There is a difference between graffiti and art, at least according to the cops. Luckily, when spray-painting a wall, it's easy to escape the law if you already have permission from the building's owner. This is the case with a group of graffiti artists in Cincinnati who embellish the outside walls of WIZARD COMPUTERS (4024 Hamilton Ave.) on a regular basis.
The owner of Wizard, Tim Williams, allows the group to paint the walls every few months.
"I don't consider it graffiti," he told me.
"I consider it art."
Williams then went on somewhat of a rant about how the cops try to mess with the artists. But he tells the police that he owns the building and the artists can do what they want.
The left wall is mainly large paintings of the artists' tag names and a very strange and very purple half-dog, half-ogre creature.
The right wall is a much lighter scene consisting of bizarre monster children ambling about a hill, carelessly trying to catch lightning bugs. On the right side of the scene, a rhinoceros monster, wearing a skull and crossbones shirt that says "FOLK HERO," has captured a very frightened lightning bug in a jar.
Moving left through a series of lightning bugs, adorable creatures and landscapes, the scene ends on a cute, clumsy elephant-type child holding a net, trying to catch a smirking lightning bug. Sadly, the elephant child stands at the edge of a cliff and the lightning bug is just out of reach. There are definite advantages to having wings.
Wizard Computers sidewalls contain one of the most beautiful spray-paint pieces I've ever seen. Williams understandably wouldn't give out the names of the artists, but he did inform me that one of them flew in from Brazil solely to work on this piece.
More legally painted walls by this crew can be found all around the city, including a piece on Bader Street in Camp Washington.
FOCAL POINT turns a critical lens on a singular work of art. Through Focal Point we slow down, reflect on one work and provide a longer look.