The following blog post was written by Sara Croft, Print Room Intern. She worked out of the Registration Department which is part of the Collection Support Division of the IMA.
With the twenty-fifth anniversary of Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant’s book “Subway Art,” I have started to think about the placement of subway and graffiti art in Indianapolis. One of my most recent findings –one that will be familiar to many that make the work commute on Keystone Avenue, are the two interesting designs at the top of the Keystone Towers. I could not help but notice it when I drove by the building the other day, which made me wonder how many other fellow city goers think about the graffiti or let it pass them by without being introduced.
One of my favorite artists started out drawing in the subways of New York. Keith Haring’s images are almost iconic now, so how does he relate to the contemporary artists who do everything to keep from being noticed as to not be arrested? Whether they stay invisible to the press like Banksy, or keep their career ever changing under different names, one can only help but wonder if graffiti would have a place within a museum. iMOCA has recently taken on this task with its interactive graffiti exhibition. Some cities have attempted “graffiti parks” to contain the art within the park and not the alleyways and private properties of businesses and homes. In large cities, graffiti becomes a part of the culture and in some ways define it, and in my opinion gives full reason as to why the art should be preserved.
Yet as the mystery behind the graffiti and the artists makes the art so fascinating to me, I will keep to searching in the nooks and cranny’s around Indianapolis while hoping that you avid readers will share your own graffiti hot spots and stories of inspiration.
Filed under: Art