American Graffiti Upsurge

By - Friday, August 5th, 2011

A recent New York Times article focused on the apparent upsurge of graffiti in cities across America. From Portland to Miami, New York to Los Angles, city officials and police departments across the country fear they are fighting a losing war against graffiti despite the fact that millions of dollars have been dedicated to graffiti eradication. Once confined to the major urban centers of America, graffiti has, over the course of just a couple of decades, spread from coast to coast and everywhere in between; travelling vast distances by subway, freight cars, trucks and now with the click of the mouse over the Internet. As the popularity of the graffiti subculture reaches new heights and the number of writers joining the ranks increase, time has shown that this subculture remains steadfast and resilient despite increasing efforts by the powers that be to stomp it out. Flames sparked by the illest burners created by some of the most talented and respected writers over the years has grown into an intense wildfire that has swept across the globe and invaded the world’s preeminent art institutions. Officials are now beginning to point the finger at art shows and exhibitions that headline graffiti writers, claiming that the subculture’s increasing publicity is linked to the increase in graffiti. Whether this is true or not remains up in the air. However, as the federal government teeters on the brink of bankruptcy and state and municipal governments increasingly become strapped for cash, one can only help but wonder if American cities will fall into the disrepair seen by cities such as New York during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. What we do know, at least for now, is that graffiti will continue to evolve for better or for worse.

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