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|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 06/09/2004 : 11:19:40 AM
i got this off the net after searchin using
chicago grafitti. this is what i got
I was 16 years old the first time I ran from the cops. Feet
thumping on the hard ground and metal mixing balls clanging in
spray pain cans inside our backpacks, we ran out from under a
Dallas overpass and through neighborhood front lawns. When the
flashing red, white and blue lights disappeared into the black roads
I collapsed to my back on the damp grass, laughing and wheezing
in the cool summer night air. I lifted my head slightly off the
ground and watched my buddies. Hunched over, hands on his
knees, Charlie coughed until he hacked up thick, bright rainbow
spit. Months later he'd be charged with a felony for the same crime.
What appears as mindless vandalism to the average passer-by
and as criminal offenses to government officials are the
determined footholds of an unrecognized subculture. Graffiti
artists, who call themselves "writers", are restless with society.
They have built a world based on creativity of expression and
communication through art.
The politics of graffiti are complicated. The government says
graffiti defaces public and private property, drives away business,
and is indicative of gangs and crime. The last 30 years have been
laden with more laws and harsher punishements for the
non-violent criminals persectuted for painting a wall. Graffiti
writers live like outlaws.
A few Sundays ago, my phone rang at midnight.
"Hi," answered a quiet, suspicious voice.
A pause. Then the voice curtly introduced himself as Sivel, a
prominent graffiti writer I had contacted by email a few days
earlier. He waited for an explanation. I gave him all my
credentials, assuring him that I would treat the subject with an
open mind. After a half hour of convincing, he finally relaxed
"Well I had expected you to pick up the phone and say, 'FBI.
Agent so-and-so speaking.'"
Sivel has every reason to be cautious. Chicago's Mayor
Richard Daley has waged a "war on graffiti" and created the
Graffiti Blasters with a 24-hour hotline to remove graffiti on
public and private properties with a few hours notice. Chicago
spends four million annually on graffiti removal. Four million
dollars, which Sivel's friend Nerd tells me he'd like to see spent
on art education in low-income schools.
Matt Smith, a fast-talking, white-collar representative from
Chicago's deputy commissioner's offive had little time to speak
with me. He said, "Graffiti is definently something we're
strongly opposed to. The city belongs to the people of the city
of Chicago, not to the people who just want to put their stamp
up on the walls of the city."
Sivel grew up in Chicago. he attended Chicago schools and
worked in Chicago businesses. A late 20-something decked
out in his baby-blue hip-hop finest, Sivel looks at me with a
goofy smile. "There was a time when Mayor Harold
Washington gave permision walls to writers to make their
mark because he understood that graffiti writers were also
citizens. Criminal damage to property is when you break
something that used to work. When you paint on a wall,
you're not damaging that wall. The Daley regime thinks
otherwise." Sivel and his older brother, Page One, are both
self-proclaimed "victims of the brown paint" that has been
used to cover up their artwork.
Graffiti is part political, announcing a strong hold on freedom of
speech and a furious rejection of the association of colors and
words with violence and crime. An intelligent man with a sarcastic
sense of humor, Chris Silva is an old veteran of the graffiti scene.
"Graffiti is a symbol of unrest and a desire for a voice in a system in
which you won't be heard unless you're on the side of money or
power. Even if your intent isn't political, the act is," he says.
Graffiti writers use the term "bombing" to describe numerous
"tags" written very quickly in one location. Some walls are
bombed in an Andy Warhol style of neat rows of repeating images.
others, Take 2 says, look like a bomb went off and splattered
"Bombing is like an all out assault, just like an arming attacking
another country," Sivel says. But while the name suggest
aggressive, destructive tendencies, Chris Silva says, "I prefer the
bombs fired by urban artists to any other kind. The creators of
those bombs are often very peaceful, warm-hearted, interesting
and dynamic individuals."
Graffiti writers are all sure of two things: graffiti has always
existed, and graffiti will never die. It's hard to pinpoint when and
how graffiti started. Besides heiroglyphics on the side of cave
walls, graffiti began appearing during Word War II in the form of
mustaches drawn on advertisements and "Kilroy was here"
scrawled on numerous places. Graffiti in its present form began
as gang graffiti in the 1960s to mark territory, but later evolved
into elaborate murals and in-your-face tags. As graffiti developed,
so did the organization of the writers.
In Chicago in the 1980s, crews of writers united at all-city graffiti
meetings with a goal of expanding graffiti in the city. Take 2 says
that when one train was painted, it would simply be taken out of
service. But if "The Federation" as they called themselves, could
paint all the trains, they would be forced to run and writers would
be able to spread their art. The Federation brought hundereds of
writers of all races together, but fell apart because anti-graffiti
squads formed in response.
But, graffiti didn't die. Somehow writers clung to it, and built a
complex relationship with their art. Most writers will tell you they
write graffiti because they feel like they are on the outskirts of
society, because they enjoy creativity and expression, because
there's a sense of friendly competition with other writers, and
because there's an adrenaline rush.
"You'd go and pick a night when it was dark with no moon out,"
says Take 2 as his eyes begin to dance. "You'd dressall in black
and carry a bag of paint and your sketchbook. It was the thrill of
getting caught and adrenaline pumping. The sweet smell of paint
would fill your lungs, and your energy would build as you shook
the can as quietly as you could. The most exhilirating part was
when you sprayed that first mark. When you were done, it was
still dark and you still hadn't seen your piece. So you'd sneak out,
hide and wait for light. Then you'd seen it for the first time, and
there was just no way you could go home and sleep that night or
the next night. I've never done drugs before, but that's what I
think it would feel like. You can't stop thinking about it. It
becomes a part of your life that is inseparable from all other parts.
Writers all mention an element of addiction when speaking about
graffiti. Cope says in his documentary that graffiti is like a dope
addiction. Take 2, Sivel, Page One, and Nerd all fervently agree.
Chris Silva told me he was attached to graffiti, but had a love/hate
relationship with it. I asked Sivel to tell me what hate could
possibly exist within the subculture they were so attached to.
Leaning over the edge of his bar stool, he says, "It takes time,
sweat and tears. you try so hard to be perfect and it doesn't
come out the way you want it to. It's like your girlfriend. You're
married to graffiti, and sometimes the relationship goes sour and
sometimes it's sweet. But it's always a roller coaster ride."
So what begins as a socio-political idea and a refute of the binds
of societ becomes an increasingly personal experience as a
writer injects graffiti into his veins. Graffiti warrants complex
explanations. Writers try to understand their relationship with
the art just as much as, or even more so than, casual viewers
and government officials who can't understand why, despite
tougher laws, public propert and business walls keep getting
At the end of our lunch, after I'd put away my tape recorder and
notebook, Take 2 says he wants to ask me a question. Have any
of the graffiti writers I've tried to contact refused an interview?
I thought for a moment. No, actually graffiti writers have been the
most responsive group of people I've ever tried to get in contact
with. He nods in expectation and looks contemplative for a
moment. Then he brought a point no other graffiti writer, book
or documentary mentioned.
"I said we were unsatisfied with society. But I think there must
be some deeper psychological reason why we as graffiti writers
need the attention of having our names seen everywhere. But I
haven't figured out what that is."
I thought to myself, I'm just a different kind of writer. There is
some strange need for attention in all of use. We want some part
of use to be seen, read, talked about or communicated to a larger
audience. Graffiti appeals to the youth because of its rebellious
nature. It becomes an addiction, a lover or a lifestyle because it
taps into and symbolizes something personal within each writer.
Graffiti is a highly misunderstood subculture. But Chris Silva
says it's just a microcosm of a larger society that is filled with
individuals struggling to be heard
Take 2 studies a wall and rattles the green spray paint can in his
grimy hands before applying a careful line. Crowds of people
gather to watch him paint, clutching their coats in the 30-mile an
hour wind. He's doing a legal permission wall now, but he
recalls his younger days of illegal escapades. A well-known
graffiti writer for over 20 years, Take 2 said his graffiti crew
noticed back of business walls that were dreary and gray and
covered them with cartoons, characters and colors. He has been
arrested four times for graffiti, convicted once. I told Take 2
about my friends who were arrested in Dallas on felony charges
of gang-related conspiracy to commit organized crime after
painting the back of a local grocery store.
"For gangs the sole purpose of graffiti is to intimidate," he
says. "As graffiti writers we are here to express ourselves and
gain fame outside the neighborhood. All of the members of our
group were pressured by gangs to join, but graffiti kept us
away from gangs. People join gangs for a family, we found
our family here. Graffiti allowed us the ability to travel and
meet people of other ethnic backgrounds."
The families of graffiti writers formed "crews," and
altogether bonded as a larger subculture of average people who
came together after hours to paint walls and trains.
Take 2 reminds me of a superhero. White-collar
professional by day, fierce graffiti writer by night. This
clean-cut, college-educated computer programmer who carries
a black leather portfolio suggested meeting me at a downtown
cosmpolitan eatery on his lunch break. As he spoke, I treid to
imagine this well-dressed 30-something as the culprit behind
countless illegal pieces covering the city of Chicago. Why
would he do it?
"You ask me how you can go and paint on someone's
property? Only if you don't feel like you're a part of society.
Society didn't have a lot to offer us, so we felt it was okay to
take a wall for our own space. I am a tax-paying citizen, and
I paid train fares, and so part of the train belonged to me and I
wanted to paint that part."
Part of the rejection of society involves the nicknames graffiti
writers use. "You take a name that's not yours, that wasn't
given and forced upon you by someone else, and paint it on a
wall," Take 2 says. The artistic twist that writers give to their
nickname is another part of rejecting society. "When you're
taught to make letters as a kid, you're first given a box and told
to make your letters fit inside the box. Then you're judged by
how much you go outside the box. Then as your grow older
you learn cursive, and you're taught to angle your letters to the
right. In graffiti, we angle our letters to the left. It's
immediately recognized as something that's not normal."
While writers reject the system and rules of societym they
cling to a few golden rules themselves. Don't write over
someone else's graffiti unless you're a better artist. Don't leave
your graffiti partners behind. And above all, when painting
trains, do not step on the third rail. It will kill you.
In a documentary by the famed New York City graffiti artist,
Cope, he grabs his gut and announces the difficulty for a tubby
man like himself to climb rooftops and run from cops. Then he
bounces along train tracks, shaking a paint can and looking
over his shoulder. One wrong step and he'd be electrocuted.
Take 2 shrugs. "People have died painting trains, but we're
willing to risk our lives for the art."
|20 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 02/24/2012 : 11:49:37 AM
so once you watch the trucks drive away from your neighbor hood you know all your favorite spots are clean and ready for you?
||Posted - 02/21/2012 : 01:25:08 AM
they usually work on fri's, got the news from a family memeber that works for the city.
||Posted - 02/20/2012 : 12:10:36 PM
Chicago city officials say graffiti-removal crews are taking a new approach to the job.
It's known as "blitzing" and involves a ward-based grid system where officials map out service calls before dispatching crews.
City officials say the systematic approach increases efficiency and productivity by reducing travel times between jobs and fuel costs.
The approach has been used by Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation for tree-trimming and tree-removal. City commissioners say it's reduced the backlog of service calls.
City officials say graffiti-removal crews in the first week visited 18 wards, blasted more than 1,000 pieces of graffiti and painted over 1,400 others.
Read more: http://jg-tc.com/news/state-and-regional/chicago-s-graffiti-removal-crews-take-new-approach/article_7e409a98-0e74-54ed-b206-9df35708534a.html#ixzz1mwlVcwLc
||Posted - 02/01/2012 : 9:09:10 PM
Oh how they like to quickly demonize graffiti.
||Posted - 02/01/2012 : 1:31:11 PM
5 arrested for graffiti on Navy Pier Ferris wheel
CHICAGO (MCT) — Five students who attend a Southwest Side career training program were arrested after defacing the Ferris wheel on Navy Pier while riding it Tuesday afternoon, police said.
Brienna Davis, 21, and Eltakus Cook, 19, both of the 3300 block of South Kedzie Avenue, were charged with criminal defacement of property, police said. Three juveniles were also charged.
The five are accused of scrawling graffiti, including the words "Job Corps get baked," on the seats of the ride, according to police.
Authorities discovered the defacement -- all written with a gold-colored marker -- and they were arrested at 4:48 p.m., police said. The five attend Job Corps at the Kedzie Avenue address.
Job Corps is a no-cost education and career technical training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 through 24 improve the quality of their lives through career technical and academic training, according to their website.
A representative for the program was not immediately
||Posted - 05/11/2010 : 12:53:23 PM
May 10, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- People have been stopping to get a closer look at the work of a British graffiti artist known as "Banksy." His art is displayed on the side of a building at the corner of Randolph and Peoria. It's an image of a baby stroller tumbling down a staircase.
Banksy's work is often satirical art on topics like politics, culture and ethics. His work is seen all over Great Britain and has now been popping up in various places in the U.S. and Canada.
Chicago police are looking into the graffiti.
||Posted - 03/12/2010 : 2:51:59 PM
THAT IS SO POO BEARED UP. PEEP DIS. COPS POO BEARED UP. WHAT DO COPS DO? USE THE MEDIA TO PORTRAY SOLE AS MERELY AN ARTIST AND NOT JUST A VANDAL. NOW, HAD SOLE BEEN CAUGHT HE WOULD BE JUST THAT. A VANDAL. THE COPS ARE THINKING THE ONLY WAY OUT IS TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE A MISTAKE AND SUGAR COAT IT THROUGH T6HE MEDIA. NOW SOLE DIED DOING WHAT HE LOVED. I THOUGHT I NEVER MET HIM BUT WHEN I TALKED WITH FLASH THE OTHER DAY, IT JOGGED MY MEMORY. I REMEMBER HIM AS A VERY NICE CAT. HAPPY. NOW IN MY EYES, HE WAS AN ARTIST. EVERYONE IS. BUT TO A COP YOU ARE A VANDAL. A NUSIENCE. PAPER WORK FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS IF THEY CATCH YOU. SOMEONE TO GET THEM OFF THE STREETS FROM CATCHING REAL CRIMINALS. UNTIL YOU ACCIDENTALLY JUMP FROM A ROOF INTO A DOO-DOO-BROWNTY RIVER. THEN YOU ARE MR. NICE GUY. MY POINT IS THAT THE COPS ARE USING THE MEDIA TO SAY THEY ARE SORRY THAT A PERSON WHO WAS WELL KNOWN, RESPECTED AND SO FULL OF TALENT WAS KILLED IN PURSUIT. IT'S BULLDOO-DOO-BROWN! YOU TELL ME THIS. IF YOU DONT KNOW HOW TO SWIM, WOULD YOU RISK GETTING CAUGHT OR JUMP INTO A DOO-DOO-BROWNTY RIVER? I THINK SOLE HAD THE SMARTS ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER THAN TO JUMP INTO THE RIVER. AND NOW THE COPS USE THE MEDIA SO THEY WONT LOOK LIKE THE BAD GUYS. THROW SOLE UP ON A HIGH PEDESTAL AND THE COPS SNEAK AWAY UNDER IT. THERE SHOULD BE A PERMISSION WALL DEDICATED TO SOLE ON THE POLICE STATION WHERE THE COPS WHO GAVE CHASE ARE FROM. R.I.P. SOLE, YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. IT WAS A PLEASURE MEETING YOU THOSE COUPLE OF TIMES. PEACE...MAD CREW
||Posted - 03/12/2010 : 01:10:34 AM
perfect example on how the media uses people to draw them on line to make stupid comments. The want people to post on there blog because everyone will come back to see what the next person says. The negativity shows how much hatered there is for anyone who speaks or sprays whats on there mind.
The story of Sole is one they want for there numbers.
see how they set up the url for the search engines
the last one is from Boston.
DONT BELEIVE THE HYPE.
||Posted - 02/24/2010 : 9:47:23 PM
I SEE BRAIN, WONDER IF HE WAS ONE OF THE 2 GUYS!?!?!?!?!
||Posted - 02/24/2010 : 4:52:51 PM
Damn! Well good lukc to them. If its over $300 in damage they're mos def geeting charged with a felony
||Posted - 02/24/2010 : 4:49:25 PM
Damn. Harsh, "caught within seconds". They bombed so hard, i would've expected them to get caught up down here, not in WI. And I don't know about Milwaukee's laws but in Chicago they're krazy makin every little bomb a felony.
||Posted - 02/24/2010 : 2:32:10 PM
||Posted - 02/24/2010 : 2:19:54 PM
Originally posted by gonerface
I saw the video aswell, I cant make out who it is though..
nspyr and nephe
damn hopefully they get a light sentence or no sentence at all but i doubt the second one
||Posted - 02/24/2010 : 2:08:14 PM
I saw the video aswell, I cant make out who it is though..
||Posted - 02/24/2010 : 12:23:49 PM
Art Students From Chicago Busted For Graffiti
By Melanie Stout
Story Created: Feb 23, 2010
Story Updated: Feb 24, 2010
MILWAUKEE - A pair of suspects are in trouble for spraying graffiti on several buildings in Milwaukee. The suspects both attend the Chicago Art Institute. They told police that they came to Milwaukee over the weekend for the sole reason of committing graffiti acts.
They got to Milwaukee Sahis little brown one. ay night and were busted early Monday morning after an alert citizen saw them in the act downtown and called police. Within seconds they were arrested.
"One of the individuals was observed having black spray paint on his hand," said Officer Peter Graber. The other suspect was holding a camera.
"They like to take pictures of their work. Often times they display it on Web sites so other taggers can see what they are doing and where they are doing it at."
Police got a search warrant at the downtown hotel where the two were staying. They found spray paint and markers used during the graffiti spree. The suspects remain in custody and could face felony charges depending on the dollar amount of damage.
They have not yet been charged.
||Posted - 02/24/2010 : 10:43:28 AM
THEY FINALLY GOT REAL ART AT THE ART INSTITUTE
thats all i want to say !!!!and show nothing since big brother
has me on their favorites !!!
||Posted - 02/23/2010 : 11:53:21 PM
DAmmmm lil homies Rocked the shizzle on that wall....hehehehehe...
||Posted - 02/17/2010 : 10:35:53 PM
Originally posted by GATZ
Originally posted by FLASH ABC
Originally posted by SyceYoko
Ha Flash beat me to it, was just about to post da article. Good looking out
I waited a day and no one did anything
lol i posted the video and article link just puttin my 2 cents in
lol damn treated my life i must be high too lol i could of sworn i posted the link last night but eh i guess not well heres the link lol a bit late though
||Posted - 02/17/2010 : 1:16:16 PM
Ha I must say shame on them, I just found out this morning. Had my flick and article in hand to post on abc. Its said to say ppl on 12oz will post things up in the midwest thread b4 they post on abc. Why 12oz, why deal wit bs talkers instead you can inform your own graff community on here. Smh, I ask why but get no answer. Shame!
||Posted - 02/17/2010 : 12:23:01 PM
Originally posted by SyceYoko
Ha Flash beat me to it, was just about to post da article. Good looking out
I waited a day and no one did anything