Recently (okay, not so recently, this took me a while to finish), the NY Times posted an article (yup, it even made it to physical paper form) entitled Admirers Call It Art, but the Police Call It a Problem.
Oh, is that so?
The fact of the matter is graffiti is a blanket statement. Where you draw the line is different from where I draw the line. In fact, take all other parties out of the picture, and difference exists: Where you draw the line differs on a case-by-case basis. This has huge implications when discussing graffiti, and plans for how to tackle or tame the wild best.
… And a Wild Beast it is!
The fact of the matter is graffiti’s been around a long time. Cornbread — accredited (at least by me and many others) with inspiring the whole “graffiti moment” as we
know it knew it — can claim what he wants, he wasn’t the first guy to think up writing on walls.
In fact, neither was I. Nor you (come on, who didn’t write on their mom’s wall?). Writing on walls has been around a long, long, long time. How long? According to some the oldest art was created by humans during the prehistoric Stone Age (between 300,000 and 700,000 years ago, source) and guess what? It was carvings on a wall. Whose wall?
“Graffiti is so yesterday.”
– Jack Richter, a senior lead officer with the Los Angeles Police Department
Sorry Jack, but it’s not just yesterday. It’s hundreds of thousands of years ago, present, and will continue into the future. Graffiti is Today in every sense of the word.