Interesting video from the artist Jaz as he discusses some important issues involving graffiti. He touches on Post Graffiti, Post Muralism, and Graffiti’s tendency as he puts it “To keep representing a Narrow Circle”. By shifting out of a traditional graffiti world where letters are your subject, Jaz decides to embrace figures and representational imagery in his graffiti.

There is an interesting scene in the video where Jaz is shot while viewing the monumental mural “New Democracy” in the Palace of Fine Arts Mexico City. The artist reflects upon a mural painted by one of the Masters Siqueiros. Siqueiros one of the most influential Muralist of the past century, and known for the Mexican Muralist Movement was also one of the first artists to experiment with spraying paint on a wall.

Whether graffiti was the influence or the initial spark, it is clear that new paradigms are being established. Graffiti continues to influence and evolve past letters and more traditional styles. We won’t call Jaz a street artist although most of you might embrace that title. I say a new painter is establishing himself as a graffiti artist. He states in the video “But the main idea about graffiti is to work in the street” which is a important point.

When watching people label street art versus graffiti, they might not understand or care to take the time to differentiate these two labels. Does history of the writer influence this? Does it matter? We think it does. An artist who has started his career painting graffiti versus in a studio, painting canvases or drawing on paper rather than in the streets. These artists have a very different understanding about graffiti and street art. It might be more sociably acceptable to take on the street artist label, but most do so at a disservice to documenting the true lineage of our artform. There are those that tagged walls and then painted beautiful murals with figures and narrative themes. Then there are those that learned in a classroom or in their studio and were inspired to take their work outdoors. We are not arguing the fact of which is better, or deserves more prestige. We only ask that you take the time to get it right when documenting an artist.

When an artist talks about post graffiti and reasons whey they feel that some of the traditions of graffiti might hold it back. We feel its a valid point, and one that comes from a graffiti artist that has been influenced directly by graffiti. Where an artist decides to evolve, or chooses what to paint is a whole different story. We will be talking more about these topics throughout the year, and will have some features about this subject in the future. We thought it would be a good time to just get some discussion started since this Jaz video brought up some great points.