Our latest article: Kilroy Was Here

Our latest interactions column (written by Steve Portigal and Julie Norvaisas) Kilroy Was Here has just been published.

Reviled or celebrated, graffiti is ubiquitous in even the least-urban environments. With roots in the wall-scrawled slogans of ancient Greece, it is a physical yet ephemeral expression of the personality of a neighborhood. It allows us to see a colorful trail of inhabitants’ interactions with public spaces. Graffiti (or street art, or urban art) has been displayed in (and arguably corrupted by) art exhibitions, influenced fashion and pop culture, and generated revenue for municipalities and the paint-removal industry alike. Of course, it’s largely illegal. It’s everywhere, and we are grateful. Perhaps we are drawn to the element of danger that feeds street art, and the rebellion implicit in its enjoyment (probably the same reasons we loved the Fonz!)…We find ourselves considering the street art of one city, or neighborhood, or corner, as a whole, compared to what we know from other cities, neighborhoods, and corners. What elements make them visually distinct? What might these observations say about the culture or history of the location? How does one graffito fit into the larger context of surrounding graffiti? We can channel our inner visual anthropologist, uncovering signs not only of the times but also of the place.

Get the PDF here and let us know what you think. Do you follow street art? What do you like about it? Share your pictures with us!

And, here are some photos to supplement the article

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