Graffiti: Art And Crime

by Daniel Tucker. Written for 10th Grade English course at Atherton High School in Louisville, Kentucky (USA) in 1999. See for Daniel's current writings.

"The words of the prophets were written on the subway walls and the tenement halls..."
Simon & Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence"


"Basically, when I look around, I see us living in a modern day Babylon, full of temptation, sin, distraction, corruption, injustice, and misguided fools being mentally enslaved. It seems to me the only way to wake people up from this kind of numbness is to destroy what they know: Their business, their places of commerce and their biggest place of gathering, the cities! Put it on their trains, on the lines they take to work, on their rooftops, on their highways, on anything just to make some people realize that culture isn't lost and that, at the very least, a small group of kids is fighting to keep it alive." [1]

Now that is the way that Coda, a 21 year old writer from Philly put it when describing what his reasons were for writing graffiti. He's been "writing" for the past six years.

The word GRAFFITI simply means--words or drawings scratched or scribbled on a wall. The word comes from the Greek term "graphein" (to write) and the word "grafitti" itself is plural of the Italian word "graffito."

Art in the form of graffiti (graffiti by style and considered so only if it appears on public or private property without permission) originated in the late 1960s, but graffiti in term of public and unsolicited markings has been around for ever. Some say it represents man's desire and need for communication, and the history of this type of communication dates back to one of the first communicative acts--drawing.

It was in the late 1960s when "Julio 204" began writing his "tag" all around the city of New York. Soon following Julio came a Greek youth from Manhattan named Demitrius who tagged his own "Taki183" all over the city as well. Taki also focused on writing on the subway in New York. Even though what Julio 204 and Taki 183 did in New York eventually developed into what was called by some "New York Style" graffiti, these New York writers only popularized it. [2] It is said that tagging first started in Philadelphia with the emergence of the legendary "Cornbread" and "Top Cat." Soon after the Philly development and the start of New York Graffiti, Top Cat's style started showing up in NYC and was called "Broadway Style" because of the long skinny lettering.

In 1971, the New York Times found and interviewed Taki 183 to try and explain this new phenomenon. Within a year of the article, "Taki 183 Spawns Pen Pals," hundreds of new writers emerged and took New York City by storm.

As tagging and graffiti started blowing up in the early 70s, people were caught off guard. One day there were the "natural colors" of the city and then came all the names out of nowhere.

"You have no idea what a blow graffiti was to us," said Mayor Lindsey of New York City. "You see we had gone to such work, such ends, to get some new subway cars in. It meant so much to people here in the city to get a ride, for instance, in one of the new air conditioned cars. On a hot summer day their mood would pick up when they had the luck to catch one. And you know, that was work. It's hard to get anything done here. You stretch budgets and try to reason people into activities they don't necessarily want to take up on their own. You have to face every variety of criticism, and it all requires so much time. We were proud of those subway cars. It took a lot of talking to a lot of committees to get that accomplished.....and then, the kids started to deface them!" [3]

Now there are some interesting points to be made about kids defacing property. You see it was much more complex than just "defacing," there are many ways writers "deface" things.

One type is the individual marks, slogans, slurs or political statements usually found on bathroom walls and stalls or on other exterior surfaces. Some refer to this as "latrinalia" or some just call it junk; this is the stuff that gives writers a bad name. There is also the individual "tag" which is a fancy way of writing ones name or nickname (nicknames often include the street number that a writer lived at, such as Taki 183, on 183rd Street in Washington Heights). A tag is usually decorated with a variety of stylish marks. Although they may have style, they still lack an aspect of quality art work--anyone can come up with and practice and put up a tag. But it is not really meant for artistic purposes--it basically indicates a writer's presence. The tag is one way that graffiti artists are similar to gang members, although gang graffiti doesn't usually evolve into anything very skillful, its purpose is to also, like for writers, indicate a presence (a gang presence) and also to mark around specific gang turf.

Although lots of writers would not want to be compared to gangsters, the two groups do have several things in common: "both seek recognition from their peers, use aliases, take part in illegal activities, see themselves as noble outlaws and are young and most often poor." [4]

Even though graffiti has grown in style and artistic quality, even though graffiti crews can now be found everywhere from (my own) Louisville, Kentucky to mainland China, most people would still say that "New York City conceived graffiti and it will always be the capital and cultural centre of graffiti." [5]

Also, when graffiti first started coming up, it was done predominantly by Puerto Rican and African American youths from poor inner-city neighborhoods. Now, graffiti has attracted people, male and female, of all races, religions and nationalities from the broadest types of backgrounds from all socio-economic classes, and you can regularly find writers ranging in age from 8 to their 30s.

One writer, Shmoo, commented: "Graffiti is one of the few movements that I have been involved in that includes people from all backgrounds with one goal in mind...`getting up.'" Getting up means "To hit up anything, anywhere, with any form of graffiti from a tag all the way to a wildstyle burner."[6]


As with anything, from pottery to bank robbery, graffiti has developed over the years in style, skill and creativity and is constantly changing and pushing the envelope. With pottery, there are always new shapes, styles and techniques to explore. The same holds true with the bank robbers. They are constantly coming up with more creative plans and better techniques and they are always incorporating new technology into the process and they always have to be one step ahead of the security and try to beat it (try to beat the system).

A writer, "Noise" from Louisville, said this about the current and future states of tags, "It's all about being creative, markers on stop signs and bus stops--that's been done. You need to elevate and push it to the next level whether you're making stickers and putting them up or carrying around a bucket full of glue rolling it and putting up your posters on a wall so they won't come off or even flyering telephone poles with some kind of art on it (it could serve the same purpose, just not as permanently)...It's all about, like I said, just elevating and being creative and pushing the envelope."[7]

Graffiti artists have always done just that--pushed the envelope. They have always looked for new and more interesting ways "to get up."

When graffiti was first becoming popular, the tools of the trade were mostly wide tipped markers and spray paint (now its not uncommon to see roller pieces) and they were used not necessarily for art or even an attempt at art but purely for getting tags up. As competition began to get worse in New York City (in the early '70s) there became a need to make your name bigger and bolder. After that passed, and everyone figured out that anyone could make big letters, style started putting its foot in the door.

Soon after, innovators started popping up everywhere. It is said that Supercool 223 (forever an innovator) was the first writer to ever do a piece--short for masterpiece--in 1972 and some give the honor to Riff and Phase2 for being the first writers to do wildstyle pieces. Phase2 reports that CC10 and Barbara and Eva were the first to do pieces and Supercool 223 was the first to do "top to bottoms." [8] A top to bottom is when a train car is covered from the top to the bottom by the piece. It is hard to say exactly who was the first to do what and who was the best and who wasn't just because of graffiti's uncertain and often indeterminable past.

Haze explains, "There's no one history of graffiti. It depends on what borough you lived in, what year you were born in, and what lines you rode...The best you will ever get is a personal history of graffiti." [9]

There are many different styles and ways of saying what a certain type of graffiti is, many people create names for their own styles and some are involved in things that are completely original and can't be defined. However, there are three main and distinct levels and types of graffiti that are produced by graffitists. First, there is the tag--the stylized writing of a name. Following the tag is the "throw up" which is a quickly done type of graffiti that is more time consuming and much bigger than most tags. Throw ups usually are made of bubble letters and are no more than two colors, Subway Art (the book) says a throw up is "a name painted quickly with one layer of spray paint and an outline."[10]

And after the throw up, there's the more complex and more skillful piece (short for masterpiece) or "Burner." The ability to do pieces and burners is where the term graffiti artist most appropriately comes into play. Although tags and throw-ups can be very well executed and have great style, it is the piece work that allows a graffitist to really show everyone what he/she is about.

Since it can be hard to find a wall that is safe and secure enough for the hours it takes to do pieces, some artists try to find legal wall space to display that type of talent. But one of the skills of the trade is to be able to find a spot and do what you want and not run off to a legal wall every time you want to do more than 10 minutes worth of painting. Still, legal walls can be a great asset to aspiring graffiti artists. Some artists chose to only do legal murals, even though hard core writers might look down on these people, lots of great art work can come out of a spray can regardless of its legality and can still show a definite "graffiti style" even if some won't consider it graffiti art.

In the 1970s and early to mid `80s, the subway was always the ideal and most popular "canvas" on which graffiti was painted. In the late 80s in New York, graffiti was forced to go through a transformation. Officially, subway graffiti died on May 12, 1989 although graffiti can still be found on subways, the car is usually taken off the line before anyone can see it and buffed clean. New York and other cities began to build secure, fenced, barbed wire topped train yards and they developed stricter laws and more severe penalties relating to graffiti. At that point a vital part of graffiti culture was lost. "The subway system was seen as a network system for graffiti," said Pamela Dennant.[11] And now it was gone. For that to be the case, for subway art to be lost, is a sad thing. Because of the network the subway had become, writers came to depend on it for communication and for display to the public and especially to other writers. On the video Style Wars, Skeme commented that his work, " for me and other graffiti writers...all the other people that don't write, they're excluded. I don't care about them. They don't matter to me." [12]

Phase2 also talks about the writing community, "Ours was a world where acknowledgment from ones peers was the singularly ultimate gratification. Never has there been an urgency to be accepted by the public or anyone else." [13]

Some writers, when subway art came to halt, felt a terrible predicament entering their lives--either give up the art that they loved and were used to or take their art elsewhere. Most chose to take their art overground, to the streets, now street bombing is the major form of graffiti art, although some writers have started painting on freight trains knowing that conceivably their work could travel all the way across the continent.

But no matter where or what you paint, there are a few rules that should be followed. As part of a sort of "unwritten graffiti constitution" there are some things that are to go without saying. As said in the book The Faith of Graffiti, "No one wrote over another name, no one was obscene--for that would have smashed the harmony." [14] The Faith of Graffiti was written in the early 70s and was one of the first books written on graffiti ever, but their points are still very valid and should be thought about always before doing any sort of graffiti.

Now obscenity was and is present in graffiti, but most people writing obscene things are "sitting-on-the-toilet-writers" and not people who claim to be artists. You just have to be able to see the difference between men's room graffiti and "subway graffiti" or graffiti written by people with a point and who have skills. People have to take the time to see that some graffiti is a skillfully written name or even a work of art, and not a piece of junk or "chicken scratch."

And yes, lots of times writers have broken the other rule noted--writing over another's name. People do go over others work sometimes but it usually causes lots of problems. It is something like taking credit for the invention of Sprite, putting my name on the label (Daniel Sprite) and marketing it. After all, for lots of graffitists that is what graffiti is, an advertisement for an individual--the point is to get your name known and see if you can get away with it. You have to have strategy (marketing strategy) you have to figure out what will be the most effective way of getting your name (product) well known, up and around. And for someone to steal your strategy or paint over your advertisement is the greatest of insults.

And one more thing is by some said to be a definite no-no in painting graffiti. "No self-respecting artist would ever use the disgusting "Black Death" nozzle that comes native to a standard Krylon can," says Kairos.[15] It was SuperKool who discovered that replacing the narrow (and sometimes sloppy) cap of a spray paint can with the wide spraying cap that can be found on a can of spray starch or foam would allow him to cover larger areas of wall or train with a broader dispersion of paint.

Tijuan, a Louisville graffitist said "When I was first starting I had no idea about cap variations. Once I picked up a magazine I started understanding how people could produce the artwork and not have to spend a whole week filling it in. I was able to understand how I could do the same."[16]

Most writers try to hold on to a stash of "caps" but are always on the lookout for new sources for them. Most graffiti zines have a mail order section in which you can order a variety of packs of caps. The most commonly carried caps are "New York," and "German" fat caps (broad dispersion) and there are New York and German outline (thin dispersion) caps as well. In addition, "rusto fats" are available which are the only fat caps that will fit on a can of Rustoleum spray paint.

One type of resistance that was shown to the emergence of fat caps was when spray paint companies started making their cans so that the new caps would not fit onto the can. (Now most caps will fit any type of can, but it is safe to check a brand out with one cap before mail ordering a full bag of them.) By doing so, this made it difficult for writers to cover a large area quickly and neatly.

In response to the paint companies' actions, Fred, a writer, said, "The writers will find another way...styles will change and new styles will be made up to suit the materials."[17] Graffiti will never die!

So graffiti, like anything and everything is evolving, it changes with the emergence of every new writer. Some older artists are a little uneasy about that evolution, Reas commented, "Graffiti when I was doing it, wasn't in magazines. It wasn't on the internet. It was on a was free. Now everything costs money. Graf is marketed. I don't know if it's right or wrong. I just know it's different."[18]

Reas, however, also said this about what he thought graffiti would be like in 15 years, "I'll plant a chip in people's heads, and all they'll ever see is Reas Tags." Futura 2000 also concluded, "It'll probably be like Blade Runner. It'll be really raw, and there will be neon pieces with holographic characters."[19]


Although graffiti may be seen in an unconventional way and is unsolicited, that doesn't necessarily disqualify it as art. It's simply unconventional and unsolicited art.

"If art like this is a crime let god forgive me!" said Lee[20] who is not only credited with painting many, many beautiful pieces but also, with the help of his crew, the fabulous five's "Merry Christmas Whole Train"! A whole train (10 cars) was a rare thing to see--usually taking over 100 cans of paint and a great deal of time, Lee was definitely an artist and should always be considered so.

Lee and many others have the ability to create art in the form of graffiti, not even necessarily Graffiti Art, but that is what it should be called because of the name and art form being identified with the graffiti subculture as a whole. "A whole miserable sub-culture" according to Skemes mother on the film "Style Wars."[21]

"Most of the opposition to graffiti art," says George Stowers (aka "Herbie") a fellow researcher, "is due to its location and bold, unexpected, and unconventional presentation, but it's presentation and often illegal location does not necessarily disqualify it as art."[22]

People are unused to art "approaching" them out of conventional settings such as a museum or gallery. Graffiti reaches out to the people, sometimes very unexpectedly and, for some, it is scary. But the way some see it, is just what is the point of having a bare brick wall? It's an eyesore! If the building has no architectural beauty and is a perfect place to display a mural, why not put one up?

Noise comments, "If you own a wall in the community and you start seeing tags on it, even if they are busted and ugly, why don't you find, or get your kid to find, some skilled graffiti artists and ask them to paint that wall for you with real beauty and style. Because people in the graffiti community, for the most part, have respect for one another you're not gonna get any ugly tags over your beautiful burner. If you let someone who is an artist and has talent paint your wall, then you end up with a beautiful mural on your wall and then you don't have to worry about it getting messed up with ugly tags."[23]

The sad thing is that because of the aspect of vandalism usually associated with graffiti, the art is often quite temporary and can be gone within minutes. A piece that may be 50 feet long and 10 feet high and has taken at least 8 hours and up to 30 cans of paint can be painted over in just minutes. George Stowers comments, "Spraycan art is an art form that is completely open to the public because it is not hemmed in by the confines or "laws" of the gallery system or museum. Perhaps, that is its only crime."[24]

More often than not it is the property owners who have all the power within the community. They can put up just about anything they like and have no one question them or paint over them. If you don't have money you are often marginalized and are not allowed to have control over what goes on in the community. Even though the people are the community, the people who own the property in a sense own the community and can promote or denote anything they like. It's like someone buying a house from a person and paying them and signing all the contracts. Then they get a letter saying that even though the house is now theirs they will be arrested and penalized for changing the color of the walls within their own house.

As "Eskae" put it: "People with money can put up signs...if you don't have money you're're not allowed to express yourself or to put up words or messages that you think other people should see. Camel (cigarettes), they're up all over the country and look at the message Camel is sending...they're just trying to keep the masses paralyzed so they can go about their business with little resistance."[25]

Not only is it wrong to keep the people from expressing themselves and from having a voice but to try to keep people from expressing themselves through art is worse. Now it should be noted that although many individuals within the community can do amazing things with spraycans and are very real and very valid artists, not everyone who does graffiti is a good example of a graffiti artist, just like not all raps and rappers are good representations of what hip hop is and, in some cases, don't even deserve the title of MC.

Some artists do have remarkable talent and can go far within the graff community and also within the art community that so often separates itself from the world of graffiti. It was in the late 70s when some graffiti artists started displaying their skills on canvas and holding Graffiti Art Shows. Paze said on Style Wars, "Forget about the trains-who wants to be dirty and hot at the same time...I tell (people)--When was the last time you made two thousand dollars in a month?[26]

The move to the mainstream (the gallery world) for some was no surprise at all. Mel Neulander commented, "These are ghetto children, not flower children. They want Cadillacs." [27] And that was true, in the early days of graffiti most writers were ghetto children. But now an estimated one half of the writers in the USA are coming from white middle and upper class homes; but these kids have demonstrated to the world and to the suburbs around it through graffiti their rejection of their ideals and values that surround them that are placed and pressured on them by their upbringings and surroundings.

Many people have different views of "Gallery Graffiti" or "Legal Graffiti." "It's tricky to call graffiti `art' because it was born to operate outside the system, and art has a system. So when you put graffiti in a gallery, you are taking an outsider inside. It's like putting an animal in a cage."[28]

Lady Pink, a writer from New York noted for her beautiful pieces, also says of gallery pieces and talented murals (like her own), "It can no longer be called graffiti but art, and accepted as such."[29]

Graffiti artist Tim Rollins explains, "It is difficult to accept it on white gallery walls. Then it becomes part of the commodity market. The social context is what gives it meaning and this is being ripped from it."[30]

Eskae adds, "Graffiti Art's free for all to come and view, no one can own it, it belongs to all of us."[31]

Writer (articles not graff) Suzy Gablik states that graffiti "needs criminality to maintain its ethical quality, it's a note of authenticity."[32]

George Stowers commented on the generalization that all real graffiti art is illegal, "In all actuality, spraycan art does not necessarily have to be illegal or on a wall to be considered as graffiti art, although, philosophically, this might be the purest essence of the art form. What matters is that the art is produced in graffiti style."[33]

Finally, "Fab Five Freddy" in an interview in the "Village Voice" states, "I think it is time everyone realized graffiti is the purest form of New York Art. What else has evolved from the streets"[34]?

Through the years an attempt at entering the art world has retired some artists forever, causing too much frustration or sometimes the loss of individuality and personal touch a true graffiti writer feels when painting a wall or train. There have been however, several very successful attempts at gallery art by subway artists of the past. Two such artists are Jean-Michael Basquiat (aka Samo) who started out tagging the subway lines and later entered the mainstream art world and the legendary Keith Haring.

Haring's work is world famous and, unlike most graffiti, universally admired. Haring did work on subway cars and on the paper in the walls of stations, creating chalk masterpieces. However, "like some writers who went from underground to overground, Haring was only too aware of the destructive influence of the art world." It is suggested that he "beat the system by operating both inside and outside the art market."[35]


There are many reasons as to why people do graffiti. For some it is to get back at a world that has long oppressed them and to rebel against the society they consider so corrupt and unjust. For others it is purely for the pleasure of creation, for the art form. Coda comments, "To pour your soul onto a wall and be able to step back and see your fears, your hopes, your dreams, your weaknesses, really give you a deeper understanding of yourself and your own mental state."[36]

And for others, it is almost a game. "Getting Up" is the name of the game and the object is to see how much you can paint and what you can get away with. Phase2 says, "For me this was a sport that belonged to me/us and rules and regulations were all regulated by whoever had the knack to create an innovate within it."[37] There are hundreds of reasons why individuals decide to do graffiti but to do it for revenge, for art or even for "sport" are very common and general reasons.

Graffiti artists see what they do as making the city a brighter and more attractive place to be, a public service of sorts. While looking at some parts of our country's urban areas, there are lots of very unattractive blank walls or walls covered with very unattractive and offensive gang graffiti. "Blank walls are ugly and repressive...To a graffiti writer, a blank wall in the city represents many more bad things than any writing on it could."[38] If something is not already an example of art (ie. statues, murals, beautiful buildings) or of some historic or substantial value (museums, old schools, churches, etc.) then why not put art on it, why not make it beautiful? It doesn't even have to be "Graffiti Art" but something that can beautify the community, something that when a person takes the time to look at it, they can take something away with them when they leave.

If the government is having problems with graffiti popping up on "its" walls, then why not put a permanent mural of some sort on it instead of painting over it (i.e. creating a beautiful new canvas for a graffiti artist to paint). Why not look within the community and utilize the talents that are there and allow the members of the community to beautify and contribute to their own community?

Celtic comments on the official reasons for painting over "community art" with plain white paint: "They do it so as to keep the public happy. Many mayors think that by doing this they are cleaning up the town. Looks real good on TV to see a truck painting over graffiti, but it's just a PR stunt. The streets aren't any safer because the walls are clean, it just looks that way." [39]

Surely instead of spending so much money on graffiti clean up and on prevention task forces, it would make sense for the money to be channeled into opportunities for youths to be educated about artistic process and learn about the arts through legal wall projects, funded by the city. Also it would educate the youths by giving them a creative outlet within their own community that would teach them about giving to the community and help it grow and prosper. There are so many different things people can get through an artistic experience but the end product is a lesson within itself--beautify the community.

Keep the tags and throw ups out of the city--bomb the suburbs! Do pieces and art of worth in the city and take the "mark my territory" or "get up" graffiti elsewhere. The city already has a bad name and people within it are trying to get out of it, it doesn't need to give people a good "reason" for leaving. Although tags and throw ups are not always as pretty, they still serve a purpose but the general public is not necessarily ready to accept it as having any value. But if people see full pieces pop up in the neighborhood it is less likely that they will look down on it.

But there will always be people who look down on graffiti in any and every form it comes in. "I think graffiti is vandalism...They think they're artists and have some right like free speech to express their individualism or artistry...graffiti might look good to them and their buddies, but the majority of people don't want to look at that crap every day," said Gary Doyle, Public Works Officer, Nuisance Crime Abatement Unit.[40] OK

[1] Coda in an e-mail to Daniel Tucker

[2] Pamela Dennart, Chapter 1

[3] The Faith of Graffiti, documented by Mervyn Kurlansky and John Narr, Text by Norman Mailer

[4] Craig Castleman, Getting Up 106

[5] Pamela Dennant quotes Chalfant & Prigoff, 7. Pamela Dennant, "Urban expression...Urban assault...Urban wildstyle...New York City Graffiti" in an 1997 American Studies Project (Thames Valley University, London) found at Art Crimes Web Page

[6] "The Official Graffiti Glossary," Art Crimes Web Page

[7] Inteview with Noise by Daniel Tucker

[8] "Video Graf 1"

[9] Pamela Dennant quotes Haze

[10] "The Official Graffiti Glossary," Art Crimes Web Page

[11] Pamela Dennant

[12] Skeme quoted in "Style Wars" Video

[13] Pamela Dennent quotes Phase2 in a Rap Pages 55 interview @Art Crimes web page

[14] The Faith of Graffiti, Section 2

[15] Art Crimes Q & A

[16] Interview by Daniel Tucker

[17] Pamela Dennant

[18] Interview in Rap Pages quoted by Pamela Dennant

[19] Interview in Rap Pages quoted by Pamela Dennant from Rock A. Party 44

[20] Lee, quoted by Pam Dennant from Hager 62

[21] "Style Wars"

[22] George Stowers, "Graffit Art: An Essay Concerning the Recognition of Some Forms of Graffiti as Art" Art Crimes

[23] Interview with Noise by Daniel Tucker

[24] George Stowers

[25] Pamela Dennant quotes Eskae found in Walsh, 25.

[26] Style Wars

[27] Pamela Dennant, from Wagstaff

[28] Pamela Dennant quotes Haze from Molotov Cocktail: The Savoir Faire Of The Finest, New York Special Number 3. page 7

[29] Pamela Dennant quotes Lady Pink found in Wagstaff

[30] Pam Dennant quotes Tim Rollins from Starr, 132

[31] Pamela Dennant quotes Eskae from Walsh backcover

[32] Pamela Dennant quotes an article by Suzy Gablik found in Starr, 132

[33] George Stowers

[34] Braithwaite, Fred (AKA Fab five Freddy) quoted by Pam Dennant and found in Hager 63, "Scenes" Column of Village Voice paper quoted by Hager, Steven. Hip. Hop: The Illustrated History of Break dancing, Rap Music & Graffiti, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1982.

[35] Pam Dennant

[36] E-mail from Coda

[37] Phase2 quoted by Pam Dennant

[38] Schmoo, Graffiti Q & A, Art Crimes

[39] Graffiti Q & A, Art Crimes

[40] Doyle, Gary. quoted by Pam Dennant from backcover of Walsh, Michael. Graffito, Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1996.


Art Crimes.

Braithwaite, Fred (AKA Fab five Freddy) quoted by Pam Dennant and found in Hager 63, "Scenes" Column of Village Voice paper quoted by Hager, Steven. Hip. Hop: The Illustrated History of Breakdancing, Rap Music & Graffiti, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1982.

Castleman, Craig Getting Up: Subway graffiti in New York, New York: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1982.

Cavan, Sherri. Ph.D. "The Great Graffiti Wars of the Late 20th Century." Department of Sociology, San Francisco State University. 1995

Chad & Schmoo. "The Official Graffiti Glossary," Art Crimes

Chalfant, Henry & James Prigoff. Spraycan Art. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1987.

Chino BYI. "Lesson 4 The Graf Artist" The Source, January 1998

Coda in e-mail to Daniel Tucker

Dennant, Pam "Urban expression...Urban assault...Urban wildstyle...New York City Graffiti" in an 1997 American Studies Project (Thames Valley University, London) found at Art Crimes Web Page

Doyle, Gary. quoted by Pam Dennant from backcover of Walsh, Michael. Graffito, Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1996

Eskae. quoted by Pam Dennant found in Walsh, 25

Espo. "TATS CRU goes for theirs." On The Go, Summer 1997

Futura 2000. "Futura Speaks." Art Crimes. (1996): n. pag. Online. Internet. 28 Sept. 1996.

Gablik, Suzy. quoted by Pam Dennant from Starr 132 Starr, Roger. "Writers and Rogues." The Public Interest, 70 (1983): 132-134.

Graffiti Questions & Answers, Art Crimes web page

Hager, Steven. Hip. Hop: The Illustrated History of Breakdancing, Rap Music & Graffiti, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1982.

Haskins, James. Street gangs. New York: Hastings House, 1974.

Haze. Dennant quotes Haze from Moltov Cocktail

Heldman, Kevin. "Mean Streaks." Rolling Stone, February 9, 1995.

Lady Pink, quoted by Pam Dennant (1997): Digital Jungle. n.pag. Online. Internet. 20 Jan 1997.

Mailer, Norman. The Faith of Graffiti, New York: Praeger Publishers Inc, 1974.

Moltov Cocktail: The Savior Fare of the Finest, New Your Special, Number 3

Noise. Interview with Daniel Tucker

Phase 2. "Guide to reality II Part". Art Crimes, (1996): n. pag. Online. Internet. 23 November 1996.

Phase 2. "Seeing Beyond The Vapors." Rap Pages, 5.1 (Feb 1996), 55.

Rock. A. Party. "Contents Under Pressure." Rap Pages, 5.1 (Feb 1996): 38-47.

Rollins, Tim. Pam Dennant quotes from Starr 132 Starr, Roger. "Writers and Rogues." The Public Interest, 70 (1983): 132-134.

Schmoo, Graffiti Q & A, Art Crimes

Skeme quoted in "Style Wars" Video

Starr, Roger. "Writers and Rogues." The Public Interest, 70 (1983): 132-134

Stowers, George. "Graffiti Art: An Essay Concerning the Recognition of Some Forms of Graffiti as Art" Art Crimes

Stowers, George. Art Crimes Rap Pages interview quoted by Pam Dennant

"The Official Graffiti Glossary," Art Crimes Web Page

Style Wars. Produced by Tony Silver & Henry Chalfant; Directed by Tony Silver. 1983.

Tijuan. Interview by Daniel Tucker

"Video Graf 1" Volume 1, Number 1, 1989

Wagstaff, Sheena. "The Name Gone By." Illustrators Magazine 49

Walsh, Michael. Graffito, Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1996.

Wimsatt, William Upski. Bomb the Suburbs, Chicago: The Subway and Elevated Press Company, 1994.

Wimsatt, William. "Who's Really Saving Our Cities?" Who Cares, September/October 1997.

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Articles and Interviews

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