You Miss All The Shots You Don’t Take was uploaded to Flickr

Toronto Islands

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I took You Miss All The Shots You Don’t Take on September 08, 2013 at 12:25PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on October 18, 2013 at 04:04PM

Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb was uploaded to Flickr

Actual title/artist unknown.

Alleyway, 18th St., Pilsen, Chicago.

(Grenade in colors of Chicago flag)

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I took Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb on June 23, 2013 at 06:01PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on July 18, 2013 at 02:16AM

Happiness Starts With Prohibited was uploaded to Flickr

Artist unknown.
Los Angeles, LA.

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I took Happiness Starts With Prohibited on February 01, 2013 at 08:06PM

and uploaded it on February 04, 2013 at 04:38PM

Document Me was uploaded to Flickr

artist(s) unknown.

Alleyway off of 18th St., Pilsen, Chicago

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I took Document Me on June 23, 2013 at 06:39PM

Brooklyn Museum Cancels Graffiti Show

Plate F

Cowards. Controversial art is still art, right?

The Brooklyn Museum has canceled plans to show “Art in the Streets,” the popular but controversial graffiti exhibition originated by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. In both a terse press release and an e-mail that, according to L.A. Weekly was sent to an artist in the show, the Brooklyn Museum’s director, Arnold Lehman, blamed tight finances for the cancellation. In the email quoted by L.A. Weekly, Mr. Lehman said: “With no major funding in place, we cannot move ahead.”

The show has drawn criticism in Los Angeles, both from people who accuse it of glorifying vandalism and from others who question the role of Roger Gastman, an associate curator of the show who also has a commercial interest in street art. The first issue was of most concern to The Daily News of New York, which editorialized in April that, if the show comes to Brooklyn, “museum mavens will be sticking their thumbs in the eyes of every bodega owner and restaurant manager who struggles to keep his or her property graffiti-free, not to mention the eyes of all New Yorkers who cringe recalling the days of graffiti-covered subway cars.”

(click here to continue reading Brooklyn Museum Cancels Graffiti Show –

There’s a difference between spray painting gang symbols and street art, as we’ve discussed previously.

Facts Are Pliable Too

Woody Graffiti - CLS


Chicago Graffiti Among World’s Best

Speaking to U.S.

I have a certain fondness for graffiti, because if it is done well, if it is more than just someone’s scribbled moniker, it becomes Art. In fact, there is quite a lot of graffiti in Chicago that is just simply Art. I call it Street Art to distinguish graffiti I like from what is just juvenilia.1 The lack of permanence is part of the energy of the work, but apparently, Richard Daley contributed to Chicago’s cultural life in this instance without realizing it. I’ve visited a lot of cities, and Chicago has some of the best guerilla artists anywhere.

Remember When Art Asked More than buy me?

For nearly 20 years, Chicago and Cook County have waged war on graffiti.

The city estimates it will spend $5.5 million to remove graffiti this year, and despite a $487 million budget deficit, the Cook County board renewed its commitment to the cleanup by rejecting Sheriff Thomas J. Dart’s proposal to scrap a suburban graffiti-removal unit costing $600,000 a year.

But the anti-graffiti strategy — deploying crews called graffiti blasters to quickly erase or blot out painted surfaces — has imposed a kind of natural-selection process in the graffiti subculture. By discouraging all but the shrewdest and most determined practitioners, the city and county have inadvertently contributed to making Chicago a vibrant hub of graffiti activity, according to experts.

“It made Chicago graffiti an aggressive and competitive sport,” said Sebastian Napoli, 32, who began writing graffiti around the city in the 1990s when writers called Chicago “the chocolate city” after the brown paint used to cover their work. The enforcement efforts “weeded out guys that get up once or twice and tried to call themselves writers,” Mr. Napoli said.

Roger Gastman, co-author of “The History of American Graffiti” (HarperCollins), said Chicago was “the biggest scene in the U.S. that is the most undocumented.” The book, to be published next month, explores graffiti in several cities and devotes two chapters to Chicago. It will be the first look into the city’s elusive subculture since William Upski Wimsatt’s self-published “Bomb the Suburbs” in 1994.

According to Mr. Gastman and his co-author, Caleb Neelon, the rise of Chicago’s new breed of graffiti writers dates to Mayor Richard M. Daley’s campaign to eradicate graffiti as part of preparations for the 1994 World Cup games at Soldier Field and the 1996 Democratic National Convention.

(click here to continue reading Crackdown Feeds a Flourishing World of Graffiti / Chicago News Cooperative.)

Blago Jogging on May Street

I Love You Set One - Goose Island Train

I have a bunch of photos of Chicago street art, if you want to see some examples I’ve encountered. Click here, or here for instance. Or use the Lightbox slideshow (click the triangle to start the show)

She Wandered Alone

  1. What is Street Art? By my loosy-goosey definition, simply art I’ve discovered that isn’t in a gallery. Most of it is graffiti art, and semi-permanent as well, but that isn’t a requirement. []

Urban Flowers

Urban Flowers
Urban Flowers, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

South Loop. Van Buren, probably

Better in Lightbox:…

doorway of the abandoned USPS Chicago HQ…which is still for sale if you’ve got a few million dollars in your piggybank.

Banksy half-assed

Banksy half-assed
Banksy half-assed, originally uploaded by swanksalot.

I think Chicago got less interesting work than other places.…


From an interview with First District Alderman Joe Moreno:

Who’s getting tagged in your ward? The tagging is mostly happening to small and independently owned, women-owned, minority-owned businesses: boutiques, restaurants, and clothing shops. Our community is an artists’ community, but we don’t want to have people putting their own paint on small business owners’ shops.

I moved to Wicker Park 14 years ago because of the artists, and I want to preserve that. But in my mind, tagging isn’t permissible.

What if a super-famous street artist like Banksy, who paid us a visit not long ago, created a piece on one of your constituents’ facades without asking? Would you make an exception for Banksy? Permission has to be granted. I would hope he’d work with a pro-art, progressive alderman like myself, and we could have his art displayed. And he could perhaps even get paid for it.

How would that happen? Well, I’ve been taking on this issue in two ways: the illegal removal side, and also in promoting spaces for street artists to show their work off and get paid for it. I’m working with various parties to make their walls accessible to street art. Brooklyn Industries also has an initiative for artists to use their exterior wall for street-art purposes that would be traditionally seen as graffiti.

How many of these specially designated wall initiatives have you worked on since becoming alderman? There’s two right now, and I’m working on two or three others to get permission. But I’d like to expand it. I’m also working with a gallery to do an art installation on the el platform.

(click to continue reading Even Banksy Has to Follow the Rules in Proco Joe’s Ward | The Blog | Chicago Reader.)