Call them aerosol artists, street artists or Banksy, graffiti artists are rarely embraced for their creative genius. Instead they’re more likely to be prosecuted. Their art is mostly done under cover of night or underground sewers. Still, graffiti art remains a living and breathing thing, gaining attention and popularity worldwide. It’s also gaining a pretty decent not-very-underground following. Now it has a history – traced back to the 1970s. In some circles, it has a philosophy about life and society, and the ownership of public space. And it has a documentary, Bomb It, illustrating the global world and work of graffiti artists. Most recently, graffiti has its own exhibition in Los Angeles at the Museum of Contemporary Art. And, there’s an app for that – aptly called, Bomb It. This app is a geo-tagged catalog of street artistry from around the world.
The “Art of the Streets” exhibit going on from April through August, features artists such as Fab 5 Freddie, Lee Quinones and Shepard Fairy who have mostly left the mean streets of tagging for main street galleries. Meanwhile, as high art tepidly embraces taggers, the police department has come up with its own TAGRS program. The Tracking and Automated Graffiti System encourages public works departments to document and report the work of taggers. This database will then categorize the tags and possibly identify the taggers who may be prosecuted if found.
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