The Writing's on the Wall...and the Jeans...and the T-shirt


| March 16, 2001

The Writing's on the Wall...and the Jeans...and the T-shirt, Robert Hinchcliffe, Spark Online
Graffiti has been around forever. Robert Hinchcliffe traces the origins of 'political graffiti' all the way back to the 19th century when an Austrian named Kryselak 'tagged' his name all over the country. Graffiti is still political, Hinchcliffe claims, but it is in danger of being co-opted by corporate culture. Writing in the Canadian webzine Spark, Hinchliffe warns that the immense popularity of hip-hop culture -- within which graffiti exists -- has made the revolutionary art form a marketable commodity. 'The corporate instinct,' he writes, 'honed over generations and capable of recognizing trends before they really even exist, has wasted no time at all in harnessing the revolutionary spirit behind 'street art' and has shrewdly recognized that while graffiti is primarily an underground culture, it also exists as a highly recognizable media text (more important if you're an ad man), firmly ingrained in the consciousness of the populous.'
--Anjula Razdan
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