The Evolution of New York Graffiti Artists

When graffiti first started becoming a public thing, back in the 80s, it was undertaken in a sly way in the deep of night so to avoid being caught and fined.  That’s what it was in New York way back then.  But these days some of it has become quite the reputable artwork.

Some New York City artists’ work is today being displayed in France…at the Chateau de Forbin mansion in Marseille.  Specifically, Dondi White and Futura whose works are being displayed in a room with hanging chandeliers to intentionally sharpen the contrast.  The new permanent exhibition has been co- curated by Caroline Pozzo di Borgo who said:

“People think the meeting of a French aristocratic family and American graffiti is impossible. And yet, this place allows them to meet. We want a place of sharing. Marseille has always welcomed artists and had links with the United States. We’re presenting the post-graffiti movement and the East Village scene in New York, focusing on the 1980s. They’re the masters of graffiti and the majority of the work that you will see here have been created by aerosol, without being pre-drawn.”

Meanwhile, florist and guerilla artist Lewis Miller of Lewis Miller Designs created a stunning heart on a black background…a huge orange six by four foot heart amid a white crosswalk lines and a ‘No Turns’ sign.  Added to that was a classic Martin Luther King Jr. quote: — “The time is always right to do what is right.”

Penned just a few weeks ago right in the middle of the pandemic this – as well as his other creations during this time – has been met with much enthusiasm.  He has been the recipient of fan mail and Instagram fame, most notably from Bette Midler.

Yes, graffiti has come an extremely long way over the last few decades.