I have had the chance to be around Revok‘s work since the nineties and have watched an amazing graffiti artist in recent years transform into a rising star in the art world. It is sad to see the powers that be attempt to diffuse such a bright light in our graffiti culture. Some might say it comes with the territory, and that this should be expected as more graffiti artists shed the mask for the camera in today’s new media driven age. When you look at the images above that were taken in Miami Art Basel last year, Vandal or Tagger aren’t adjectives that comes to mind to describe the artist or his work. I’m sure all the critics out there might ask with a warrant what would you expect, and failing to pay restitution for a crime any criminal should be sent to jail. I counter that although in definition it is a crime, Revok is no criminal. Reminds me of the old stickers when i was a kid “skateboarding is not a crime”. I never thought we would reach the day when i could honestly say that graffiti could have a similar slogan. Can graffiti have its Tony Hawk, is Revok one of our icons that with arrest after arrest ends up paving the way for professional graffiti artists, or will the system turn his title into a career criminal? Many say that all graffiti is and should be illegal, and graffiti cannot be legitimatized. I wont get into all the politics of graffiti, but I will stand behind Revok for his influence and significance as a writer for our age. The real crime here was not that he was detained for a older crime that he committed, but that the timing and heavy hand that was laid upon his bail. Los Angeles has been systematically and aggressively going after writers, taggers, and murals recently, so its no surprise that they would attempt to get some press and redemption with an arrest of a graffiti artist of this stature. What they didn’t expect and wont be ready for is the backlash that social media has in store for them. We as a culture in a new age of trending and viral marketing now have at our fingertips the ability to make a difference. If your on Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Facebook, whatever media outlet you use lets get the word out #freerevok. If I know Revok he will be back soon and hitting harder than ever, but until then show our solidarity in pushing this trend. The powers at be can attempt to hold our art down, and deem our lives work as vandalism but only through our own actions can we help make that change.