Rebel Angels Rejoice

Buford Youthward

Graffiti auteurs build canons of work providing outsiders with stylized perspectives from which they can not only watch the modern world go by but also recognize as part of the modern world itself.

All movements are the result of cross-pollination. The modern world finds the movements brought about by the disaffected, desperate and restless especially appealing, as this segment acts the least responsible and maintains a solid disposable income from which to regain the investment of market manipulation. What was counter-culture is now over-the-counter culture.

Keep in mind that deviance is just another marketing tool. All forms of disconnection from society get sold back through shared notions of transgressive activity. A hidden community may quest for recognition of truth, but only in a rarefied, uncoded atmosphere can human truths be found.

The target audience of the graffiti product is not only its initiated practitioners (and those who seek to apprehend them) but the commuter who seeks to experience vicariously. As a columnist, however, my words do not survive, vampiric, off the sweat and experience of others — I dip my pen in my own blood.

Hanging around in the waiting room of history, Modern Graffiti writers, bored, often dissipated or perhaps trying desperately to maintain their integrity, no longer look to brave horizons. Their view is introspective. The anti-heroic graffiti writer offers, at best, assertion of the self, at worst, angst-ridden dismemberment.

Is graffiti the last resort of those who are unwilling to attempt a more sublime gesture or to hope for a brighter future?

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