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Transcript of Graffiti
1. Does commercialization ruin the credibility of graffiti?
2. Is graffiti, as a component of hip-hop, as relevant now as it was when it emerged?
3. Do you think graffiti is an effective way to convey a message or ideal?
4. How do you think expressions of art (such as album covers and even visuals in videos) affect the music itself?
In the 70's press coverage of graffiti was very low. Besides a hand full of articles on artists, or ones attacking graffiti in the city, there was little adoptation of graffiti culture in the mainstream media.
- A 1971 New York Times article on Taki 183 helped increase the number of graffiti artists and bring the art form to the attention of all of New York
The 80s is when graffiti started to be embraced by people outside of it's original space of creation.
- Henry Chalfant: Had a downtown studio where he displayed pictures he took of graffiti. Helped to expose artists to other artists and was the beginning of being able to make a profit off graffiti.
- In central park, uptown and downtown youth began to mix and graffiti was exposed to interested groups (ex. Zephyr)
- An art exhibit by the Co-Lab collective introduced artists who had never painted on trains.
- Fab 5 Freddy: Helped commercialize graffiti. Was the uniting figure between the downtown scene wanting to buy graffiti and the uptown artists who created it.
"The art world was ready for something authentic and passionate, something innocent and incandescent. It wanted to feel deeply again." Jeff Chang
- Though some artists just tried to sell their tags, most art patrons wanted to buy graffiti that had a message.
-Tried to make hip-hop and graffiti a folk art... obviously didn't work.
-Rock Steady Crew performed at a graffiti show, which helped to link what we now know as the four elements of hip-hop together in the commercial world.
- Commercialization has led to the creation of public art, which is something that you can get paid for. While graffiti is still thought of as an illegal art form that you can't make money off of.
- Many people view political graffiti as acceptable, and not tags, but you can't have a mural without a tag.
- Advertisers have gotten in on graffiti. Coca- Cola commissioned a graffiti advertisement in Atlanta.
Commercialization: the process or cycle of introducing a new product or production method into the market.
- The internet has helped to promote graffiti. Artists can have their work exposed all throughout the world.
- Patti Astor interview about her art galleries that showcased graffiti.
- She didn't think of it as graffiti, just as an art.
- She says she met artists at parties but now I imagine it's not like that.
Political activist, film director, and painter
Active since 1990
Modifications to existing objects
Satire of modern problems
Mocks centralized power
Graffiti as Education
Philadelphia’s mural art project has changed the face of the city from grim and gloomy to colorful, cultural and spirited.
Born Frank Shephard Fairey
Charleston, South Carolina
Rhode Island School of Design
Active since 1989
Today, the art world and the general public is more open toward graffiti art. The public has become more tolerant and appreciative of this underground art. In Los Angeles, for example: The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) organized an exhibit celebrating urban graffiti on walls, subways and buses; and it proved to be a hugely successful show.
This is actually the first major US museum exhibit on graffiti and street art. The exhibition traces the development of graffiti art from the 70s to the international movement it’s become today.
sculptures and mixed media that helped shape the evolution of graffiti art.
Mural Arts’ award-winning art education programs annually serve 1,800 youth at neighborhood sites throughout the city. Mural Arts’ programs are offered free and are targeted to at-risk youth. Educational programs use an intensive curriculum that involves mural-making as a dynamic means to engage youth and to teach transferable life and job skills such as taking personal responsibility, teamwork, and creative problem-solving
Parks and Recreation
Major cities began to see a rise in graffiti and as a way to stop this vandalism and encourage "artistic expression", Graffiti parks were created. Major cities like L.A, New York adopted this early on.
Austin has its own graffiti park where anonymous artist can legally tag. These help shift the idea of a destructive hobby to a preserved, admired, social art form.
As more innovative styles of graffiti come out everyday, a lot of graffiti now is used for commercialization as name brand companies like Nike incorporate aspects of graffiti into their products
One of the four major elements of hip-hop
Visual expression of hip-hop culture and rap music
Center of the graffiti movement was in New York in the 1970s
Mainly seen on subways and buildings
Examples: signatures, tags, murals, etc.
Mostly created by black, white, and Puerto Rican urban youths
Notable visual & political expression
Considered a plague and vandalism
Represented loss of authority & control
Began the anti-graffiti movement
Taki 183, Tracy 168, Dondi, Lady Pink, etc.
Fab 5 Freddy
Spread influences of graffiti and rap
Linked the urban uptown scene to downtown art
The Media's Role in Graffiti
Impacted positive or negative connotations (ex: NY Times)
Early Works On Graffiti
Wild Style (film), Subway Art (book), Style Wars (documentary)
Textiles and apparel
Modeled after Russian propaganda
Satires of social issues
"The Politics of Graffiti" Craig Castleman
"Zulus on A Time Bomb: Hip-Hop Meets the Rockers Downtown" Jeff Chang
"From Graffiti To Galleries: Street v. Public Art" Jareem Imam
"Does the Commercialization of Street Art Undermime the Work" Mary McCarthy
All About Graffiti- "Common Graffiti Characteristics" GraffitiArtMCC
(...or "throw up")
Painted in New York
Graduated from School of Visual Arts
AIDS awareness advocate
Started painting in 1979
C A P
Wall murals, trains, and commercial art
Quick and easy to do
Most common form of graffiti
Type of graffiti most often considered as vandalism
Used as a label or personalized signature for graffiti artists
Expressed concepts of birth, death, sexuality, and war
Compromises aesthetics for speed
Mostly only two to three colors used
Mostly include tags
Not very complex or elaborate pieces of work
More elaborate way of tagging
Bubble-writing is very popular
Include a wider variety of colors
Take up much more time to do
Typically larger, more complex, include imagery and decorations
Riskier to do
Born Dec 22, 1960
Was a gifted artist by age 4
Spoke French, Spanish, and English
Painted in New York
Incorporated words into paintings
Painted on random objects
Used symbols and cryptic writing
Focused on "suggestive dichotomies" such as wealth vs. poverty, integration vs. segregation, and inner vs. outer experience
Used social commentary as a "springboard to deeper truths about the individual"
Attacked power structures and systems of racism
Cover large areas
Typically use 2-3 contrasting colors
Blockage for other writers
Found in large open areas
Large block letters
Los Angeles, CA
Wide variety of colors
Very popular but hard to do
Very elaborate and complex
Interlocking letters and arrows
Not very easy to understand
Writing over (and thus ruining) others' work
Quick and easy
CAP (Style Wars)
Bubble letters and quick filling
Two colors at most
Sign of conflict