“What would NYC be without graffiti? In my opinion, it would be boring and slightly more difficult to visualize. Going back to our connotation, denotation conversation, I connote graffiti upon thinking about the city. What makes it different than so many other cities, is that a lot of the artists are known individuals who have shaped the city over the years. Although sometimes it may not seem like it, all graffiti is a form of art. Although some of it seems unnecessary, its part of what makes NY a unique urban utopia, as cheesy as it sounds.
“Nevertheless, in the eyes of the law, the capitalist owns visual space. In the subways, Hollywood owns most of the poster space. On the streets, individual building owners own the exteriors of their buildings. The government owns the sidewalks, street signs, construction sites, etc. This does not mean that these spaces are sacrosanct, though. As Banksy suggests, we do not need permission to craft our own visual space, it is already our right to do so. And luckily for us, the materials needed to do so are cheap: spray-paint, stickers, x-acto blades, and the like… It often happens now that the Capitalist rules of visual space get bent, but then again, no one ever agreed to them in the first place.”
An Archaeology of NYC Visual Culture: Rivera, Rockefeller, and the Capitalist Limitations on Visual Space