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Bushwick Street Art


Here is some weekend inspiration of a different kind for you. These are images from a walking tour I did in the Bushwick area to admire and understand 'Street Art' and Graffiti.

Understanding the history and the changing dynamic of the neighborhood over the decades is key to appreciating how Graffiti evolved into an art form and is now called "street art". 

The term Graffiti comes from Italian word graffito, meaning to write. The most common form of graffiti that we associate in our minds are the big letter scrolls spray painted on walls - either outline or in solid. These are called throw away or throwies or bombings. In '60s and '70s that was the only form of graffiti seen, often in black neighborhoods.

In the '70s, a kid in Washington Hts area changes the message and perception of graffiti. Taki 183, the pseudonym he went by, graffiti-ed all over the city and piqued the interest of NYTimes. That inspired more kids to write to travel beyond the boundaries of their own enclaves and 'paint' around the city.

From the rebel, politico, socio-economic toned graffiti to what today is full scale gallery painting style murals that harkens back to the time of Michelangelo .... the evolution tracks the gentrification of the place from being a poor and middle class neighborhood depraved by crime and gangs to today's hipstery, gentrified, high end coffee snob shops! 

Some of the work is simply stunning in the details and realism of expression. Others are a study of what the world looks like in the eyes of the artist. Still others are fantastic form of organic advertisement done in collaboration with a sponsoring company. Today, some of these street artist are even famous and contrary to the economically deprived roots of the art, make a substantial living off their work. They are hired by or patronized by companies and other organizations and even travel internationally to do their work. 

It is an interesting irony and a brilliant study in how humanness evolves.

Despite all this acceptance has not grown quite as dramatically as the art form and the artist has. People still do not appreciate their walls painted or looking onto a painted wall... Where street art is today, I don't understand why the resistance still exists.

What would it take to break the connection of bad with graffiti?

A example of a Throwie....

A example of a Throwie....


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