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Getting Up Street Party

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Culled from my stream-of-consciousness notes recorded on my phone:

Camera's still in Long Island, so Ima hafta paint pictures with my words. Dope street vibe, everyone cool. Graf peoples doing their thing on the faux-subway side panels. It's like watching a mural coalesce. Too many Ecko tees, though.

Most of the graf are just tags, but there's a few political pieces. Lots of overheard comments like "I used to mobm." Yeah, like I used to rap. This one piece is a metaphorical up yours aimed at Bloomie and City Hall, with a fat pig holding a donut (in a cop uniform, of course) standing in the middle of a trio of rats in suits, one of whom is groping Lady Justice's titty - causing her to drop her sword in shock. You'll probably find the pictures online.

Yo! Fab 5ive Freddy was here!

Cats filling books with marker art. Think autographs. Hot.

The range in age, gender, ethnicity, apparent nationality and socio-economic status of the artists - more so than the audience/spectators - is impressive. Quite a few "middle aged" folk bombing hard out there.

New York's Finest fully represented. Cops are a necessary evil, but sometimes more evil than necessary.

Cats came in white tees to get 'em graf'ed up. This one chick had people tag her arms - reminiscent of some of the more daring "Kilroy" exploits (pregnant women's bellies). Past collides with present, infusing it with meaning.
(I still don't "get" Kilroy, but I can appreciate the methodology now.)

Location was right in front of Chelsea Art Museum/New Museum of Contemporary Art.

GameStop's here, in a reminder that this is a commercial event, after all.

I feel pity for the cleanup squads.

Whoa! Tag albums!

Dude starts breakin' - not seriously - when the music starts. Mural's like a collaborative/community essay. Feels right.

Evolution and co-optation: a new imaged added to an existing one changes the meaning entirely. Seeing that live was cool.


Some of the dancing is goofy, but who gives? The dude got into a huge circle and started DANCING. That's more than can be said for just about all of us.

Go Grandma! Go Grandma!

Dude in the suit! Yo, he can really break!

(For the record, this is on tarmac.)

Cool Herc, kid! Rob Raider!
(New York DJs. Rob Raider is a member of The X-ecutioners, whose album Built From Scratch contained a skit in which game show contestants were asked the four fundamentals of hip-hop: DJs, b-boys, MCs and graffiti.)


Wait, there's an afterparty?

Crap. Lost some of my comments. Reconstruction follows:

At the 22nd St and 11th Ave entrance there's a sign that reads approximately "WARNING - Spray paint, markers and other graffiti paraphernalia are illegal, and anyone caught in possession is subject to fines and arrest."
(It was wittier and more sarcastic than that, but I lost it when I had to take a call. Not that taking a call invalidated my notes, but that there was subsequently some input system error which caused an application restart. Ugh.)

Upper-middle class, preppy-looking dude showing his soccer jersey-wearing little son the intricacies of graf.

"Skateboarding is a crime and I am a criminal. Ghost Design Inc." - back of one of the artists' tee, as he was posing for a shoot.

Arcade Legends
Asteroids cabinet! Model train... of a subway car!


That's a very immediate collection of my reactions to what I saw at the street party. No footage of the game or anything, which I think was very respectful to the art. GameStop had a truck at one end with four Xbox games - two racing and two street hoops, only one of which was playable (the other was a looping video). They also had a "GameStop" motif on one of the subway cars as if it had been stenciled in and the paint had dripped.

No, I'm not buying that either.

Overall a pretty cool event, and an interesting lateral dimension to the promotion of a game by showcasing the art that inspired it.
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