The new york city subway writers and trains have an almost spiritual connection to one another as this is where hip hop graffiti was first e subway system was seen as a network system for graffiti, it was an icon for graffiti writers to get. As Smith stated: "Other writers - that's the only thing that matters".(Chalfant prigoff 28). Phase 2 expands on this and affirms that: "Ours was a world where acknowledgement from one's peers was the singularly ultimate gratification. Never has there been an urgency to be accepted by the public or anyone else" (Phase writing 2 in rap pages 55). Therefore, it can be suggested that graffiti writing creates "an alternative system of public communication for kids who otherwise have little access to avenues of urban information" (Ferrell 83). Writers had particular lines that they preferred, depending on the surface of the train and its route. The greatest writers of the city have always seen the "twos 'n fives" (number 5 Lexington avenue express and the number 2) as the superior trains to create their work on, as they span vast areas of the city.
But the phenomenon of writing graffiti actually took hold in a big way when a seventeen year old Greek youth, called Demitrios, essays from the washington heights area x of Manhattan, 'tagged' taki 183 all over the new York city, and especially the subway. In 1971, eager to determine the meaning in the message, a 'new York times' reporter found and interviewed taki 183. The article, entitled 'taki 183 spawns pen pals' was the first of its kind. Within a year of the emergence of taki 183 - and the subsequent 'times' article - the phenomenon of hundreds of youth seeking to express themselves via the subway system was spawned and the movement that was later to be termed hip-hop graffiti. The history of graffiti was asserted at this point, and has been laid down many times in various media. However, as it progressed and became a major aspect of popular culture, the narrative disperses. As haze explains: "there is no one history of graffiti. It depends what borough you lived in, what year you were born in, what lines you e best you will ever get is a personal history of graffiti" (Molotov cocktail 4).
My aim is to enable the reader to be brought into the urban wildstyle of New York city graffiti and give it the justice and respect it so rightly deserves. Pamela dennant - new York city london - 1997. Chapter 1: the emergence of graffiti in new york city "How many people can walk through a city and prove they were there? It's a sign I was here. My hand made this mark. " omar, new york (Walsh 34-35). The start of New York city graffiti is a concise one and can be traced back to the late 1960's, when a youth, julio, who apparently lived on 204th street (borough of the city unknown began to write his "tag" (nickname; pseudonym) Julio 204. By 1968, his tag could be found all over the city.
From the Platform: Subway graffiti, : paul
The final chapter, 6, will look thesis at graffiti in the 1990's and address the it the end of an urban phenomenon? This is an important chapter, as the reader will see how the phenomenon has evolved right up to the present day. The conclusion will bring this whole phenomenon together, and decide whether graffiti did come about as a result of the society in which stationary these youths lived or did the youths create and add to the urban decay surrounding them. Also, did graffiti fulfil its purpose as a form of expression for these youths. The answers to these questions and to others like it, will become apparent throughout this project.
Depending on the reader's perspective or point of view, graffiti will be viewed as either an artistic form of expression for the urban underclass or egotistic vandalism. This project will be visually stimulating using photographs, and strengthened throughout by empirical findings, as well as secondary textual sources from books, newspapers, journals, magazines and the world Wide web. Appendix 5 will contain an interview with Omar, the new York city writer, which was conducted in person in January 1997. I consider this a major breakthrough in my dissertation research and a crucial aspect of the project because although books like 'subway art' are considered the graffiti 'bibles' throughout the world, it has become evident that writing is not all about subways and not always. I intend to provide a much more critical analysis and inquiry, in as much as 10,000-12,000 words will allow. Having not being in New York city when graffiti emerged, obviously a lot of my research has to be from secondary sources. However, meeting Omar provided me with a different angle to work on, and it also keeps it 'real'.
I subsequently met him and he provided a wealth of information from the emergence of graffiti in New York city to the present. I also discovered that there are over 2000 graffiti web sites on the internet. As the readers of this project will discover, new York city conceived graffiti and it will always be the "capital and cultural centre of graffiti" (Chalfant prigoff 7). In chapter 1, the focus will be specifically on the emergence of ne w York city graffiti - so basically, the history of hip-hop graffiti and the major role of the subway - how it emerged and evolved. The reader will now become familiar with some of graffiti's terms (a glossary is provided in appendix 1 for quick reference). Chapter 2 addresses the question: what is the larger cultural and social framework that graffiti exists, and how did the cultural climate of New York city in the 1970s foster and contribute to graffiti.
This chapter will examine the social/cultural climate of the graffiti subculture in relation to the larger hip-hop culture within which it grew. So, where chapter 1 looks at the history - the surface of the movement, chapter 2 explores the core of the movement, the subconscious - so to speak. Chapter 3 will explore the urban resistance to graffiti - of the police, the metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and basically authority in general. Specifically the "buff" (train cleaning) system, which some say changed the face of hip-hop graffiti forever by denying the youth their recognition around the city via the subway, which was basically, a public gallery on rails. Chapter 4 will be more specific and examine women and graffiti - as with the whole of the hip-hop subculture, males dominate. There are various reasons behind this and this chapter will explore the women who broke the mould, like 'lady pink' (one of the original females of the sub-culture) who i was lucky enough to see in spraying action in 1993. Chapter 5 will look at the changing faces and the fragmentation of graffiti in the move from underground to the art mainstream.
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But what led me to more interest in this art form were the books 'subway art' (Henry Chalfant martha cooper) and essays 'Spraycan Art' (Henry Chalfant james Prigoff). I also grew up near to ladbroke grove - the area of London that first adopted and brought the new York style transatlantic and created the British hybrid of the subculture. Also, a shakespeare few of my friends are former graffiti writers, so as I learnt more about graffiti, the more intrigued I became to delve deeper into the passion behind the writing. I have visited New York city on numerous occasions and have been lucky enough to see the creations made in the graffiti writers 'hall of Fame' on 106st, between Park and Madison aves. In October 1996, i attended a symposium on New York city graffiti at The museum of the city of New York, in conjunction with United Urban Artists (see appendix 3 for programme). Also while online, in the new York city chat rooms, i spoke to a writer, Omar (A.K.A. Swatch 1) from New York city.
Therefore, throughout this project when i use the term graffiti, it will mean writing. This project is concerned with a specific genre of graffiti that emerged in the late 1960's/early 1970's in New York city - a phenomenon known as the hip-hop graffiti movement: a complex, highly formulated way of imprinting the urban landscape. Hip-hop, a term encompassing rap, djing, breakdancing and graffiti emerged as ghetto expression' for the poor, urban youth of the city, which really came into its boots own in the 1980's. The hip-hop scene is a subculture of our times, and an important one, but in order to complete an in-depth coverage of this subculture, i will focus on the graffiti aspect of it because although graffiti is an inter linking factor to the hip-hop whole. Graffiti emerged as its own force, gradually merging into the hip-hop equation, spreading its wings from its roots in New York city to influence other urban settings in the usa and other parts of the world. Graffiti can be seen as an artistic form of resistance to authority and at the same time a means of expression and connectedness to its own subculture. I personally became interested in graffiti art in the early 1980's when I first saw the films 'beat streets' (directed by Stan Lathan 'wildstyle (produced directed by Charlie ahearn 'style wars' (produced by tony silver henry Chalfant; directed by tony silver - 1983 and 'turk.
children painted their graffiti on the bottom of these blank walls even as an infant will scream when a family silence is too prolonged.". Norman mailer in 'george' 35 "Graffiti writers are the Urban Shamans and the streets are our modern day caves" crayone (Walsh 3 introduction, graffiti - the term comes from both the Greek term "Graphein" meaning 'to write' and the word 'graffiti' is plural of the. Graffiti has become a prominent force in urban settings in the late 20th century and mention of the word conjures up many different images in people's minds - is it art or is it vandalism? A cause of the urban decay or a product from it? The scope of attitudes towards graffiti is wide and controversial. It should be asserted here that many graffiti writers do not call their work graffiti, but rather writing. Iz the wiz, a writer explains that "graffiti is some social term that was developed (for the culture) somewhere in the 70's" (Writing From The Style Underground 6).
Graffiti in the '90's - the End of an Urban Phenomenon? Bibliography, abstract, this project seeks to explore the sub-cultural youth phenomenon of hip-hop graffiti (especially subway graffiti) tree which emerged in New York city. The project will follow graffiti's development from its emergence in the late sixties/early seventies to the present. This project will discuss the history of graffiti within a social-cultural-political whole using various media including personal research. It will explore the 'ghetto expression' of street hip-hop culture, its implications on the urban landscape of New York city, the resistance from the dominant culture, the changing face of graffiti, where graffiti stands now and where it is going. Specifically, the project seeks to ask was graffiti a product or a cause of the urban decay of New York city and did graffiti fulfil its purpose as a form of urban expression. "For decades, America, all-uncaring, had been blinding its' children with the tall, blank walls, of corporate buildings.
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Pamela dennant: urban expression, pamela dennant, pdf thames valley university (london). Ba (hons) humanities, american studies project 1997, introduction. The Emergence of Graffiti in New York city. Graffiti's Social and Cultural Climate. Urban Resistance to Graffiti. Representing the females - women in Graffiti. From Underground to overground - the Writing On Gallery walls.