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Quote of the Day

May 3, 2005

This is a few weeks old by now, but fi5e’s comments on the city’s anti-graffiti campaign are probably the best I’ve read anywhere:

I was just reading the website for “New York’s Finest”, and found some interesting stuff on graffiti (I don’t want to post a direct link to it, but if you go to and put ‘graffiti’ into the search engine you’ll find it). Including this quote, “Calls can be made to 911 for acts of graffiti vandalism that are in progress”. On the one hand other people are dieing, but at least that wall will remain solid cinder block with no sign of color!
They also have a .pdf on their site called “Combat Graffiti” which outlines the different kinds of graffiti as “hate graffiti, gang graffiti, satanic graffiti, street graffiti, and generic graffiti”. In over a year of photographing graffiti around NYC I’ve seen hate related graffiti only twice (which was promptly covered in anti-hate graffiti), almost zero gang related graffiti , and unless you consider NECK FACE to be satanic graffiti than I won’t even comment on the idiocy of that label, it is all “street graffiti”, and none of it is “generic”. I have seen “beautiful graffiti” (SWOON), “political graffiti” (just think back to the RNC), “up lifting graffiti” (De La Vega), and “tag based graffiti” (names not of gang members but of creative people that live here). With everything going on in this city it makes me sad that they are putting this much effort into the elimination of an art form that was created here.

Check out fi5e’s blog if you haven’t already, he’s on fire lately. Also related: VR interviews fi5e. Picture by Martha Cooper.


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One comment on “Quote of the Day”

Hey thanks a lot for posting this blog! I’m actually writing a paper for a project on graffiti, and it’s on the controversies of graffiti and how it’s art. It’s good to know that there isn’t much gang related writing, and most of it is art. And it’s reassuring that I’m not the only that has an opinion that says graffiti is art. Thanks alot again!

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