Making a Name for Himself, With Just 3 Letters
I'm not a lover of graffiti in the same way I am street art, mainly because its use of public space can sometimes be abusive and neglectful. (although in my opinion this is often not the case) I have however thought that it is a symptom of a larger problem facing major urban centers that must be taken seriously. The problem is simply, how do we express our personal identity in a population of millions while simultaneously being bombarded by commercial identity at every turn. A recent article in the New York Times about graffiti artist BNE has some interesting quotes by the artist which I think are worthwhile noting as they explain the reasoning behind why some graffiti artists feel it is their right to take over a city with their scrawl despite it being highly illegal.
“This is my voice, and if you try to remove it, you’re shutting me up,” he said.
“I don’t see other graffiti writers as my competition anymore,” B.N.E. said. “Now I’m going up against the Tommy Hilfigers, Starbucks, Pepsi. You have these billion-dollar companies, and I’ve got to look at their logos every day. Why can’t I put mine up?”Verifying that in fact BNE was competing on a similar level as multi-national brands, Mother had this to say...
“B.N.E. has single-handedly created a globally recognized and valued brand in the new social economy,” Mother officials said in a news release. “His presence in Flickr photo galleries and YouTube pages dwarfs that of many multinationals.”NY Times Article: [Here]