Street Art / Graffiti

Street Art - Graffiti

After the Empire Stores building was declared unsafe, scaffolding was built on the rear end of the building, over the sidewalk. The sidewalk has become somewhat of a temporary street art exhibit with new pieces of art popping up every few days.

Graffiti, aka "scratching", is old skool. It has been around for over 30,000 years. Cave paintings in Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc and elsewhere depict numerous different species of animals, human hands and abstract patterns. Avant-garde graffiti artists of the late 1970's and early 1980's have been labelled as vandals, and many have been prosecuted. By the mid 1980's New York City had declared a "war against graffiti" and by the end of the decade graffiti was on a decline. In the same period, The City of Philadelphia took a different approach with the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network and incorporated artist into the Mural Arts Program by providing them with wall spaces to beautify the city.

The 1984 film Beat Street had a significant influence in introducing the Hip-Hop culture to the world. It featured breakdancing, DJing, graffiti and rapping as forms of artistic expression. The movie featured a memorable piece of graffiti: "If art is a crime may God forgive me!"

Song of the Day: Beat Street Breakdown - Grandmaster Melle Mel (1984)
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