Here you go debaters, this is a really good article I found online. I want you guys to be more knowledgeable in the politics, debates and issues in graffiti. Therefore I am now going to make a thread for the articles I find interesting to invoke dialogue, so here you go;
For the purpose of this article, all artists will be referred to by their aliases unless otherwise stated.
In the deepest corners of Toledo, graffiti art and tags are kept secret — hidden on rooftops, under bridges and down alleyways. When riding around the city with “Mad Hatter,” an artist from a Toledo painting group called the Me Too Crew, these secret spots were made known for the purpose of a photo essay on Toledo street art.
Toledo is speckled with sculpture gardens, a few murals and many tagged walls. One would think with this city being full of art and history, it would be noticeably more colorful. Unknown to many Toledoans, the city has many pieces of hidden artwork. The works of mostly anonymous artists are in numerous locations around the city.
As hard as this art may be to find, it is worth the search. Vivid colors, words and pride for the “419” are the blood running through almost all of Toledo’s street art.
According to the Mad Hatter, there are a few unspoken rules to tagging.
“Don’t tag any places of worship, no schools and no private property, like houses,” Mad Hatter said.
“Usually it takes about 15 minutes to throw up a piece,” he said. “The harder it is to find a spot, the better. The more hidden it is, the less chance there is of someone buffing it out or another artist going over your piece.”
In the Toledo tagging society, covering up another artist’s piece with one’s own has a light-hearted sense of humor, literally like the game tag.
According to Mad Hatter, some crews toy with each other’s work by altering it, ruining it or covering it up. Sometimes different crews will spend so much time altering one piece that an entire wall will quickly become covered with collective art.
Street art is sometimes referred to as “graffiti” and is often associated with vandalism. Although “graffiti” is commonly linked to gangs and violence, street art could be turned into something beautiful. Painting the Glass City with colors and others’ work would give the city new life. The artists would no longer have to hide their art or faces for fear of being called vandals. Their work would be appreciated and celebrated for years to come.
Sandra Smith, or “Lady Pink” as she is commonly known as, used to be one of these hidden artists. Lady Pink was one of the first big names in the New York graffiti scene back in the late 1970s early 1980s. Lady Pink started tagging subway trains and walls with her name over and over again to achieve fame. She kept up with the males in the graffiti and tagging subculture.
Today Lady Pink is a well-known artist who travels all over the country using her talents to bring life to walls of businesses and museums. She now urges young taggers and artists alike to use their talents to brighten up their community and call attention to the great art in their own cities. She even holds workshops for all to learn the art of mural-making. Lady Pink and her husband now own a mural and street art company.
New York City artist “Revs” was widely regarded in the early 90s as one of the most prominent taggers in the Big Apple. His graffiti work was strewn throughout the city, in subways and even overpasses.
After a few run-ins with the law, Revs went into seclusion for a couple of years, since then he has reemerged in the street art world, but in a different form. Revs decided to create street art using sculptures made with iron. Now, he obtains permission of the building owners to slap his work onto their property. Revs has a job separate of his street art life and is strongly opposed to artists who use their work for profit. In an interview with the New York Times, Revs said, “Once money changes hands for art, it becomes a fraudulent activity.”
In an interview about street art with Time magazine, French artist “WK Interact” said, “It’s freedom, anyone can look at it without paying.” Perhaps that’s the greatest draw to graffiti tags: the sharing aspect that is built into the work. It does not have to be hosted inside a museum or behind closed doors to be appreciated.
The huge majority of street art work is unsanctioned by cities and is an illegal act which falls under vandalism unless the artist has permission from the property owner. Despite the law of the land, this has not stopped many artists from sharing their work through spray painting, stencils and posters using wheat paste (a substance that adds aesthetic value to a piece of art).
Street art all over has also been a way to express the opinions of current events such as war, homosexuality and peace.
For “Banksy,” a well-known British street artist, his work is about the British government. Banksy is infamously known for statements against government and war.
Jeremy Novy is the artist linked to the drag queen stencils that quickly grew to be a popular trend of street art. Novy’s intent with the drag queen stencils is “to bring gay imagery into a homophobic subculture, covering hateful and distasteful graffiti in our communities.” Novy wants the gay street artist community to flourish and not be in fear to express their artwork. Novy states that “street art itself is a dominantly male heterosexual community; being out of the closet is not accepted. Gay street artists have been assaulted, their art supplies stolen or damaged, and their works covered up.” He would like to see everyone’s artwork not just the ones who dominates the street art subculture.
Many groups are showing up all over the country promoting positive street art and showing youth that there are constructive ways to show their art. The Youth Struggling for Survival (YSS) group sees the talent in the art of the young graffiti artists and uses their talents in a positive way to spread a message of social change, peace and pride in where they came from. The YSS is also stepping away from the stereotypes of the graffiti and negative side of the hip-hop culture. The YSS located in Chicago still continues today to paint the walls of the city with positive images.
The Me Too Crew was generous enough to share their hidden and treasured artwork for the sake of the photo essay, which is only a fragmented sample of the artistic potential in this city available for larger scale murals and streetscape.
— Nick Bruno, Nathan Elias and April Preston contributed to this article.
http://www.independentcollegian.com/art ... -1.2179298
here is the rest of the article