Reserve your negative opinions about street art for a moment and consider this image of “Madonna and Child” spray-painted on the side of a who-knows-how-old building in Rome, Italy. Captured in the residential neighborhood of Trastevere by Flickr user AlexSven, the photo summarizes, at least for me, the living organism that is the Eternal City. The ancient and modern, the irreverent and the religious all co-exist in this magical city.
What’s more, the word “graffiti” is an Italian word meaning “illicit scribblings or drawings on the surface of a public place” and is a type of art and protest that has been in practice since the days of the Roman Empire. So this street artist (or vandal, depending on which side of the debate you are on) is continuing a tradition that has lasted thousands of years.