Friday, February 1, 2013

"If you're going all city...don't be a toy"

Graffiti how-to section in Toronto bookstore

If you're going all city, don't shark or get buffed. Don't be a toy!"

That's not gang lingo, it belongs to a much bigger group: Graff writers!

Graffiti existed millenia before hip hop, street gangs, and Banksy. Napoleon's soldiers did it on ancient Egyptian ruins. Mao's hoards created the world's longest to stir China's Communist Revolution.  Today high art galleries feature it from Manhattan to London. Academy nominated films glorify it.

The past few months I've photographed an ever-so blurry line between street art and graff. Just consider the quality of design. How far is one design of wall graffiti in Hartford, CT from that of a mural in Victoria, BC?

A small stretch of wall graffiti in Hartford, Connecticut

A wall mural in Victoria, British Columbia
Graffiti is growing in cities around the world. On a recent trip to Toronto I found bookstores featuring graff history, how-to, and heroes.

Then I found a politically incorrect Mad TV version of taggers. It makes light of something that's not. But it is kind of funny. Enjoy.

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