Graffiti has been an inseparable part of New York since a few decades. Some see it as an act of vandalism while others appreciate the free creative spirits of the artists who pour their soul on the walls of New York. Recently a book called FLOWERS came out which has documented street art created by Michael De Feo who has watched the art flourish over the past twenty-five years.
Art finds different ways to express itself. From painting on leaves, cave walls, canvases to streets have been the medium of expression over the centuries. New York may have found a new medium of late. The concept of trailer park backed by millionaires is being well received by the people. And we can’t think of a better way to decorate the trailers than Graffiti.
But first let us take a look at how the Graffiti culture has transformed in the past twenty-five years.
Association with miscreants
In an interview Michael De Feo spoke about how he got introduced to street art in his childhood. He recalls while driving around Manhattan his father used to point out to the street art and almost always ridicule it and those who created it. According to him this was a popular opinion and not just that of his father’s. People who agree with De Feo’s father’s opinions might like these sculptures which are considered to be a pure form of art.
Street art has always been associated with miscreants who go around vandalizing every wall they see. Only recently people have come to acknowledge that is an expression of art. The society’s perspective towards Graffiti has changed but it took a long time and now the artists are being appreciated at last.
Artists bore the wrath of people’s anger
There is another recollection in De Feo’s memory which tells us about the attitude of some people towards street art. In his earlier days as street artist he was at a parking lot near the Mercer Street. He was planning to paint a big flower at the parking lot and arrived at the location at two in the morning all geared up. He climbed up his fold up ladder and began his work.
He didn’t want to get caught so he was painting as fast as he could. When he was about to finish his painting he saw a car come towards him. There were four people inside and all were staring at him. The car passed by at first but then came back later after a while. The people inside got down and started hitting De Feo. He remembers the sheer hate in their eyes till date.
A role to play
We, the so called civil society, fail to comprehend what inspires artists like De Feo to express their art in the manner which they do. When asked about it expressly De Feo said that it makes him feel a part of something. That he has contributed in making this great city what it is. Their art is a reflection of the people in the city. It makes the place with tall buildings and narrow streets a bit habitable.
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