The neighborhood got some press this weekend in the USA Today from a decent article introducing the graffiti culture in the area. Although it started off sounding like what your grandparents might say when they discuss graffiti, it went on to interview some of the local names like Books Bischof of Primary Flight, artist Trek6, and Erni Vales from the Evil World gallery. The article also talks about the evolution of the art form and how mainstream support, often on the corporate level, will play a major role in keeping it alive.
…while the artists are invited to do their work on buildings and sometimes get donated materials, for the most part they are not paid. Some predict that may change, and that the Miami graffiti community may eventually find fame and profit in their designs, the way artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat did in New York several decades ago.
However, some argue that a more established and legitimate form of street art is inherently untrue to its roots.
“A purist would tell you it’s gotten really soft,” he said. “When I started, everything was illegal. There was (a) serious graffiti task force. They’re less aggressive now because so much of it is legit.”
At Product 81, we’re huge supporters of graffiti in our space, the Yo ♥ 305 gallery. Anyone who truly wants street art to survive in a legal form should see that groups and corporations commissioning work from artist are a huge factor. For example, our mural that changes every 2 months. The article missed a major example of this within itself, as Erni Vales is a major figure in the history of NYC graffiti and has also had huge commercial success through partnerships with the likes of Google and David LaChapelle among many others.