Exploring Albuquerque’s Drainage Ditches
On the surface, Albuquerque seems fairly clean of graffiti and tags. Visible buff marks can be seen under the bridges, on signs, and in alleyways. A tag probably won’t last more than a day or so, and artists use their paint sparingly in response. On the roadside, the ditches look like patchwork quilts, made from different shades of gray and tan cloth.
What lies beneath (quite literally), however, is a much different story. In these pitch-black tunnels, the creative vandal is set free, and real estate is scarce. The walls, sometimes 15 feet high, are covered from floor to ceiling in tags, murals, and graffiti.
The nature of the sprays varies so much from piece to piece, as artists most likely come for miles just to showcase them in these tunnels. Some are just a nomer, and others are more meaningful.
Some have apparent cultural influence,
And others are a tribute to the very paint they used.
No space is wasted, some crawl into the smallest of places just to get up.
These places had little to no homeless activity, and this was most likely because of the dangerous nature of these drainage tunnels; they could fill with hundreds of gallons of water at a moments notice.
For Albuquerque, the graffiti scene is quite literally very underground.
If you’d like to see the full album of photos, which will be updated further, click here.