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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Piece By Piece

Last night I watched an awesome film called Piece By Piece, a documentary by Nic Hill with a soundtrack by local DJ Qbert. It tells the story of the San Francisco graffiti movement from the 1980's to 2004. I enjoyed it because I recognize a lot of the pieces and locations. Even if you aren't familiar with either San Francisco or graffiti as an art form, I recommend this film as an educational work. So many people see graffiti as ugly vandalism, instead of as an expressive medium of public artwork. While I disagree with the scrawled tags on people's houses, I see nothing wrong with the colorful and often inspirational throw-ups on the dull walls of vacant lots.

Piece By Piece follows early Bay Area graffiti from its roots in Cholo writing to its evolution of unique typographies, to its shift from words to images, and its modern role in social activism. The movie features many street-art pioneers, as well as current artists (many of whom refuse to show their faces). It also explores the (usually negative) public opinion toward graffiti and the artists' passion for what they do.

A female graffiti artist who calls herself "Reminisce" decorates SF with images of horses.

"Tax Dollars Kill", a piece by Mike "Dream" Francisco. The spray-can legend used art to bring up issues like police brutality and racism. Dream is the perfect example of someone who uses his talents to improve urban society. He was murdered February 2000.
This here is some ugly-ass graffiti. This is the stuff that ought to be banned. It's an eyesore and is not at all inspirational or artistic.

What do you guys think? Should graffiti be illegal? Or should it be respected as an urban art form? I would love to hear your opinions.

1 comment:

Greg Biggs said...

I think the main shit that MUST change is the way we all in this world; but live only according to the corrupted "Rulers" say-so. It's like we all are only existing as we are told to, or else! It's fear, it's rotting our planet, life, animals, atmosphere and quality of life but it's only alarming to most of us who is Puppet-sident and what bullshit "issue" we think is even in the air, or up to us? It's too beautiful this gift...life....to live it imprisoned...when we're so beautiful, talented and have all the excruciating painful weight of the massive amounts of infinite work effort and occurrences that amazing gifted our dumbasses with living a life in a wondrous creation like the milky way in this ever ever giving planet..Earth. Fuck were lucky, is not any of these blessings meen enough to us that we can FIGHT BACK!!??? Graffiti is a medium that is screaming such fierceness with the pushing down of the spirit. It's an aggressive attack on the "system" that is beautiful in it's fiery aggressive beauty that bleeds and shines vividly in Graff. The escape t other worlds, the messages, and the lawlessness but labor of love and commitment for simply just the work itself to be seen, and VERY temporarily; is such a gift to the public not just look people have balls to do what they feel inside but HELL they risk prison freedom life and limb just so strangers have a fleeting moment and see the Graffiti. It's deep and it's as forever as human kind will be. And that's all that I can be happy about is that destruction at least wipes the slate clean. death is nothing and pure as life is it's beautiful contrast.