They say Detroit is the Wild West of graffiti. Or at least they used to. Suffering decades of economic blight, stocked with a hundred thousand vacant buildings, and a police force with bigger problems on their hands, Detroit has become known worldwide as a street artist’s paradise. As the city depopulated, more walls became available for murals, tags, wheat pasting, stuffed animals,… Continue reading The Grit and Soul of Detroit Street Art
With cities growing ever safer, more sanitized, more well behaved by the day, the financial hurdles of being able to afford these swelling citadels for the rich spiral ever upwards. American crime, or at least the violent type you hear about on the McNews, has been declining for decades since leaded gasoline was banned. In its place… Continue reading Can Bike Theft Promote True Affordable Housing?
Last week, my cycling comrade Meg Brennan and I sat down to record our second drunken bike pod cast. The conversation tended to ramble into territory concerning cultures of community resistance to things like capital-driven gentrification. We also discussed how different forms of sanctioned and unsanctioned street art can play a roll in building strong… Continue reading Coloring Outside the Lines: a Photo Collection
This article was originally published by the Portland Street Art Alliance. It’s been a depressing month for street art. Snagging national media attention, the buffing of legendary graffiti destination 5 Pointz in Queens, New York shocked artists and art critics alike. Even Portland bloggers noted the injustice that had been committed by developers Jerry Wolkoff and… Continue reading The Autonomous Necessity of Graffiti
“Forget the damned motor car, build the cities for lovers and friends.” ~ Lewis Mumford Similar to a piece I wrote recently highlighting the ongoing photographic documentation of bicycle culture, it seemed appropriate to also compile a collection of images detailing the various textures and surfaces of urban landscapes. So often as we traverse our… Continue reading Photographing Metropolitan Topography