A critical evaluation and manifesto I want to write. The starting point would be the anonymous piece below. I read it in the Free Press Worst of Houston issue a few days ago and it stuck in my mind. Graffiti has a lot of untapped potential as an art form (and as a commercial enterprise, as anonymous notes). I guess there a few reasons why more graffitistes write than paint; it's easier, safer, and faster to do. The problem is that very few people could care less who's got more tags on the city. Probably the only people who do care are the taggers themselves. I guess that kind of insularity, not to say elitism, has always been present in street art. But Anonymous isn't kidding about the dollars out there, clogging the city gutters. There are piles of them just waiting to be swept off the street by an enterprising tagger willing to exploit Dick and Jane Suburbia's yen to possess an actual instance of authentic, contemporary culture.
Didn't you see Welcome to the Gift Shop?
Worst Graffiti: Writing
Quantity over quality is the culprit here and it’s about high time some of our local “graffiti” artists took themselves more seriously. The “writing” craze is not new by any means but, it seems lately every one is considering themselves to be valid graffiti artists based on the fact that they scribble the equivalent to a cave drawing on the side of dumpsters and business establishments around town. The sad part about all of this is the fact that most of these kids can actually create some of the most visually stunning artwork we’ve never seen. It reminds me of The Simpsons episode where Bart gets the label maker and puts his name on everything in the house, even Homer’s beer, thwarting Homer from not taking the last beer because “it’s Bart’s”. I believe that if these talented artists actually wanted to be considered for opportunities that would make them large sums of money, ushering most of them out of what could probably compared to squalor, they would focus their efforts more into the quality of their work rather than the quantity. I will probably never find myself looking for someone to commission for my next project on the wall in the bathroom at Rudz. If the artists actually began focusing their efforts into the massive colorful beautifications they are perfectly capable of, the city might actually start putting funds into the art community providing these very artists with paying gigs, doing THEIR VERY OWN thing, to objectively make the city a more interesting and inspiring place to live in. There are some amazing artists however that are already “on this tip”, and I would like to give them a shout out here for doing it right: Ack!, WEAH, DUAL, and Give Up (even though they write, it’s actually balanced with an equal amount of content heavy related artwork that is creating a unique identity for themselves as artists).