After losing someone she loved, artist Candy Chang painted the side of an abandoned house in her neighborhood in New Orleans with chalkboard paint and stenciled the sentence, “Before I die I want to _____.” Within a day of the wall’s completion, it was covered in colorful chalk dreams as neighbors stopped and reflected on their lives. Since then, more than 1,000 Before I Die walls have been created in over 70 countries and stenciled in over 35 languages by passionate people all over the world. Filled with hope, fear, humor, and heartbreak, Before I Die presents an intimate portrait of the dreams within our communities and a chance to ponder life’s ultimate question with the people around us.
My gravitation to this work (and works like this in particular) is solely due to its attempt in connecting a disconnected society through a common element (life/death/pain/success). Outside of the lens of our computer monitors, the more personalized guerilla-styled approach has always been the most influential to neighboring parties.