Where Will the Street Artists Go?

Thanks to the rising tide of redevelopment, New York's legal graffiti walls are disappearing. But the art form's pioneers rarely asked for permission to practice their art. Might the city see a return to the anarchic environment of the 1980s?

"The gradual loss of [legal graffiti] walls, like last week’s sudden whitewashing of 5Pointz in Queens, has street artists wondering where they — especially younger, less established artists — will be able to paint," writes David Gonzalez. "For J. J. Ramirez, an 'original school writer' whose tag, Mico, covered subway cars and walls starting in the late 1960s, the implications are clear."

“The whole thing boils down to class warfare,” Mr. Ramirez said. “People all over the world are wondering why they did that to 5Pointz. My answer is, why not? Do we really think some landlord is going to give a damn about the culture of the working class? This was an art form invented by the children of the working class, not children with last names like Trump or Rockefeller.”

“There are hardly any spots left in the city for graffiti writers,” Wilfredo Feliciano, 47, said. “It’s going to mean that everybody’s going to be fighting for space. And you know what happens if they don’t have space to express themselves.”

Full Story: As Legal Graffiti Walls Disappear, Street Artists Ponder Future

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