Thursday, January 31, 2008


Last week, my neighborhood was being invaded. The weeklong invasion consisted of a dozen or so urban revelers with hoodies and hightops, and several hundred cans of spray paint. Living in a very active neighborhood environment, I compiled a vast amount of commentary, questions, opinions, applause and complaints regarding the graffiti installation going up on the entire first floor perimeter of the old Church of The Rapture, cum T Street Flats, cum now vacant warehouse building on the corner of 14th and T NW. Much to my amusement and intrigue, I discovered that this was part of a sizeable installation for Meat Market Gallery's Performance Week. The best of the best in public graffiti artists were called into action to create a diverse canvas of urban art. The diversity in the typologies of the art are evident in the unique styles, layering, color patterns and scenes. Some of the neighbors complained and questioned the "building defacement" and how it was a distraction to the neigborhood. Many others found intrigue in the boldness of this as public art. The bottom line is that this installation created a discussion about graffiti as public art versus a public nuisance. While some opinions are that this is not a valid form of art, it is important to take a close look at the complexities of the finished product. Perspective, axonometrics, layering, color, and demsionality are just a few very difficult techniques that are a part of this art form. If anyone would question this, I challange them to create their own written name into a three dimensional perspectival version, aka tag.
The performances inside the top floor of the warehouse were a wide range of interactive and active art forms. The inside space was raw, and riddled with more graffiti installations. The Pink Line Project, Civilian Art Projects, and the Goethe Institut all contribued to this event conspired to stir discussion, participation, and accesibility to unique art forms. Urban art is exciting, should be approached with a very open mind, and can create some great discussion. The urban underground art scene is well and alive in our very own DC.

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