Graffiti Website Redesigned as Graffiti Declines in Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids Graffiti and Street Art website has been redesigned even as graffiti continues to decline in the city. The days of the Grand Rapids Police Department talking about draconian measures such as requiring arrested artists to wear electronic tethers or prohibiting the sale of spray paint as part of an organized graffiti crackdown appear to be gone, with artists instead getting caught based on the contents of their profiles on social networking websites and the places once favored by artists being rapidly gentrified. The photographs collected on the website portray an art form that is far more complex than what is described in the media, where graffiti writing is reduced to being simply “graffiti” as poorly scrawled names around the city. Moreover, the media’s overly simplified portrayal of graffiti has shaped the discourse into one of crime and control, rather than looking at other issues affecting downtown such as gentrification or the lack of outlets for artistic expression by youth in the Grand Rapids area.

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Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org