There’s a mysterious glyph that’s been cropping up around Indy. It’s caught the eye of a few of my friends, who in turn asked me about it, knowing full well that I would have caught it, too. I’ve actually caught it now in no less than four different downtown locations. Here’s what it looks like, as pictured from the backside of the mailbox just outside of the Indianapolis Business Journal‘s offices at the corner of Pennsylvania & East Washington Streets:

Heart-shaped cat glyph on mailbox.
Heart-shaped cat glyph on mailbox.

Done in seemingly nothing but black spray paint, it is a heart shape sporting the design of a cat’s face on it. My friends asked if I had seen it because it’s obviously right up my alley, considering my love of cats and animals. One friend in particular even asked if I had personally painted the large instance of this artist’s tag on the underpass at Washington & East Streets before it got covered up. (Sorry for the disappointment, but I’m sadly not writing about my own handiwork!)

Another instance of the graffiti cat on the back of a downtown building. Photo credit: Jean Whitfield.
Another instance of the graffiti cat on the back of a downtown building near Pearl Street. Photo credit: Jean Whitfield.

I have mixed feelings about graffiti, however. For most people, when it appears on anything other than the culprit’s own property, it’s outright vandalism. But proponents consider graffiti a unique and beautiful style of art that can greatly enhance the environment, especially in inner-city areas that are sorely devoid of any type of gorgeous scenery. It’s often used for the greater good as well, displaying messages of hope or urging viewers to join the fight against a corrupt system. Graffiti art has even made its way into the mainstream: Fellow gamers might remember¬†Jet Set Radio, a game series from the early 2000s that told the story of a group of teens fighting against a totalitarian government for graffiti artists’ freedom of speech. Urban clothing designer Marc Ecko also credits much of the inspiration for his designs to graffiti, having been quoted as saying, “Graffiti is without question the most powerful art movement in recent history and has been a driving inspiration throughout my career.”

Regardless of any legal or ethical implications, I would love to know the story behind Indy’s most recent graffiti tag. Who is the artist and what’s their story all about? Are they also a cat lover, or does the heart-shaped cat face have some deeper meaning we aren’t yet clued in on? Should would be on the lookout for larger pieces to spring up around town? Are they responsible for some already?

Keep your eyes peeled, local friends and family. I’d love to get more shots and maybe even put together a map of the city with known locations that the tag has appeared.

What are your theories? Have you seen the heart-shaped graffiti cat? Let us know in the comment section below or on the new Talk page!

Author: Joseph Black

According to Wikipedia, I discovered magnesium and carbon dioxide, so that's something.

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