I love Graffiti. I realize that at some level, graffiti is vandalism and represents disrespect of property rights. And it doesn’t feel great when our building gets tagged.

But there’s something about sitting outside eating on the street staring at street art. This was our view on Monday night.

street art

Graffiti is creativity expressed in public, for all to see. It’s rebellious. It’s leaving your mark on the world.

I feel most at home in cities and neighborhoods that are filled with Graffiti.

I think there’s a linkage between creativity, innovation, and rebellion. And graffiti sits right in the middle of all of that.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Huge fan.There’s a story about how Haring and his buddies used to meet in the East Village, distribute the paint and chalk, head out on the subways all night until they either ran out of supplies or were arrested.I have a few pieces of Haring in my house and they seriously delight me daily.

    1. pointsnfigures

      such an 80’s photo!

      1. awaldstein

        Subways in the 80s were a different world from today.

          1. awaldstein

            New York is honestly very safe. I never think about it.i was taught to ride the subways by my grandfather who would lecture me in yiddish, where I was allowed to get off. Long time ago.No more. I go everywhere and any time. Most people do. And the subway is my major transportation means with bike and walk as second, cars last.

        1. Anne Libby

          If you want to feel nostalgic, check the J station at City Hall. Even the air down there is from 1987.When I use this station, “Warriors, come out and play-ay-ay,” goes through my mind…

          1. awaldstein

            NYC in the 70s and 80s was gritty in a very special way.Had a place on Ave A and 2nd, 6th floor walk up, bathtub in the living room, no air. I so loved it.

          2. Anne Libby

            I remember a college friend calling me, she had found a sofa on the street that she wanted. 1988?I dashed to 15th and 9th (which at the time was perilous) and we carried the sofa a few blocks and up 4 flights of stairs.Good times.

    2. leigh

      He had a show at the AGO a number of years back — it was great — and they had all these tables in the middle areas so kids could sit down and draw.

      1. awaldstein

        I’m a huge fan of him personally and the joy of his art.I have this one in my office.

    3. leapy

      Haring once drew on my T-shirt and I never washed it thereafter. Unfortunately it was a hot sweaty day in Rome….

  2. Barry Nolan

    I love Banksy’s rant on advertising versus graffiti.“Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.“You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.”

    1. Tom Labus

      He should have had a better reception in NYC

    2. leigh

      i just love Banksy. Anyone who didn’t see the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop should watch it tonight (it’s on Netflix i think)

    3. andyswan

      To be clear, neither the advertiser nor the graffiti artist asked for my permission.

      1. Barry Nolan

        Clearly. Yet one is permissioned.

    4. Richard

      We all love innovative art, but is this April fools day? Graffiti hurts. Think about the public school marred with graphitti. Feel good about sending your kid there? How about the REIT who just spent $300 million to attract people to come back to Down Town LA? What about the role graffiti has in youth gangs?When graffiti hacks start changing ones HTML and CSS, something tells me that the love affair with graffiti will again cycle down.

      1. andyswan

        I wonder how the attitudes would change if it were people stenciling on your new shirt. I mean… you didn’t ask their permission to make them see that shirt… why can’t they adjust it as they see fit?

        1. JamesHRH

          That’s a lovely example of sticking to your intellectual guns.

        2. LE

          God if I had enough money I would endow a chair and make you the first LE Professor of rationality and traditional values.I’m just amazed at how many people don’t understand these basic concepts and have such a lack of empathy.Apparently these people have never met Mr. Nimby.

        3. christopolis

          or hacking your site

    5. SubstrateUndertow

      Internet version:SORRY !The media youordered is currentlyunavailable in your country

    6. Pete Griffiths

      It would be a more convincing rant if he had asked permission of Blek Le Rat before using his work.Plagiarism? You be the judge

      1. Barry Nolan

        wow. I’ve never come across Blek’s work. Thanks for that

        1. Pete Griffiths

          I think you can find Youtube pieces that show how he developed the stencilling technique years before Bansky. And, disturbingly, there are many VERY close resemblances between famous Banksy pieces and earlier Blek pieces.

      2. leigh

        I dunno — Blek the rat creator mentions influence of Richard hambleton and if wikipedia is to be believed it said this:British graffiti artist Banksy has acknowledged Blek’s influence stating “every time I think I’ve painted something slightly original, I find out that Blek Le Rat has done it as well, only twenty years earlier.”[8]The two have expressed mutual desire for collaboration; in 2011, Blek was seen adding to a mural begun the previous year by Banksy in the Mission District, San Francisco.[9]I think that’s cool – artists respecting, collaborating — and who knows, maybe Blek is in fact Banksy — crazier things have happened….

        1. Pete Griffiths

          Take a closer look at some the Banksy’s pieces.And check out what the late ‘King Robbo’ had to say about it.…(there was a famous war where Bansky ‘went over’ a Robbo piece. This was widely considered to be a disrespectful act. It enraged Robbo who ‘went over’ Banksy’s piece and in doing so explicity drew attention to the way Banksy’s work copied Blek le Rat.)Blek’s relationship with Banksy has taken many turns after he saw what B had been up to. It’s not all respect and collaboration.Blek isn’t Banksy. 🙂

    7. Nick Devane

      Check out Hanksy @fredwilson:disqus He does pop culture mashup puns that are usually quite funny. I can think of at least two pieces involving USV portfolio companies.

      1. Guest

        Buffalo Bill de Blasio

      2. Guest

        Buffalo Bill de Blasio among the best

  3. andyswan

    The key is it has to be good. If it’s bad, it’s vandalism, if it’s good, it’s art.Always a bonus when they put art on the building you’re looking at instead of vandalizing the building you occupy.

    1. Barry Nolan

      Define good

      1. fredwilson

        You can’t

        1. Barry Nolan

          Yo. Truth.

      2. Tom Labus

        You know it when you see it

        1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          yep… you feel it when you see it …

        1. Barry Nolan

          A fool’s errand really.

        2. JamesHRH

          Jeepers, that is good!

      3. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        beauty lies (!) in the eye of the beholder…

    2. awaldstein

      Reminds me of the quote about revolutions and coups, that they are right and the will of the people if they succeed.

      1. LE

        If it succeeds it’s because there are a quantity of said people that outnumber another group of people. And that’s sometimes simply because those people will just bear more offspring that they can’t support and raise.

        1. andyswan

          or they’re better shots

    3. fredwilson

      I have it on both

      1. LE

        I give you credit for being able to bend over and grease up like that and not have it bother you.At the office condo complex where I own some stuff I’ve authored the “sign policy”. Nothing is allowed unless it’s in the policy which is explained in excruciating detail in order to keep the property values up and have a nice place that people want to have their medical practices (most of the offices are dr. offices). One of the rules says you can’t put your phone number or web address (domain name) on your office sign. [1][1] Unless the web address is part of your company name. And only one place qualifies for that, the guy who wrote the policy..

  4. Hershberg

    “Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.”- Banksy

    1. fredwilson


    2. andyswan

      Banksy is awesome (because he’s very good at what he does) but there are countless free tools for making others smile that don’t leave a permanent mark on other people’s property.

    3. Mariah Lichtenstern

      Tagging is generally “marking one’s territory” and can be gang affiliated or merely rebellious. Part of the rebellion is expressing the “ownership” of the community by those who may not have the means to “own” land in the western sense, but decry marginalization by occupiers who have the means to displace them when they colonize a new area (e.g. gentrification). If you were to ask scholars on the topic, some might have the perspective that the latter is a more permanent mark on what in some value systems could be defined as “other people’s property.” I love graffiti, which is not mere tagging, but more mural-istic, graphic, and expressive. I also dislike tagging as much as anyone. But I get it…and every trashy-looking, pissy neighborhood trying to preserve what little it has with the urban blight tactic.

  5. Twain Twain

    Graffitied side of a women’s hospice/social center I happened upon in Dolores Mission.

    1. awaldstein

      about a 15 second delay for me.

    2. andyswan

      I would bet a lot of money that’s not graffiti.

      1. Twain Twain

        Mural with graffiti embellishments. It goes around the building.

      2. LE

        Agree. Same way Captain Morgan is not piloting a ship.I love the way people try to associate the word “art” with graffiti to take advantage of this propensity of people to want to be “bad” which somehow makes them “cool”. [1]Calling it “graffiti” makes it better somehow than saying “someone did a painting on the side of a building”.[1] Same way ordinary mild mannered citizens love to ride Harley’s as if they are outlaw bikers, down to the garb and facial hair.

        1. andyswan

          Yep. Love “outlaw” culture and concepts… just think there are ways to embrace it and participate in it without doing harm to others.

      3. Mariah Lichtenstern

        Murals and graffiti share cultural roots, but usually murals are commissioned.

        1. Pete Griffiths

          And graffiti artists do murals 🙂

          1. Anne Libby

            I had the privilege of hearing Jane Golden, founder of the Philadelphia Mural Arts program, talk about how this 30 year old program was born:…It is an amazing story.

  6. jason wright

    Surprisingly Geneva has quite a lot of grafitti, and most of it isn’t inspiring.

    1. Carl Rahn Griffith

      A remarkably anodyne city/country.

      1. RichardF

        maybe but they have great ski resorts and chocolate

  7. LIAD

    took a street art tour whilst in tel aviv last week.incredible tour guide. leveraged the graffiti to explain cultural, music, political, linguistics zeitgeist. graffiti is multi-layered stuff.downtown tel aviv going through massive regeneration. municipal council encouraging street art in certain areas as they know they are to be torn down within a few years.1. guide used a small whiteboard to decode the art for us2. hasidic jew praying ‘towards’ tel aviv rather than jerusalem which is the norm. lots of subtlety in the piece.

    1. Carl Rahn Griffith

      Great city. Loved working there.

      1. LIAD


    2. ShanaC

      murm, not gonna say what I think right now (very political, spent too much time in the old city way back when. Knew people who were associated with ateret kohanim. nuff said)

  8. Jorge M. Torres

    Still mourning the loss of 5 Pointz here in credit: Thomas Hawk

    1. reece

      5 Pointz was rad

    2. ShanaC

      I knew you’d mention that!

    3. Richard

      The Font is so innovative.Salieri: Mozart, it was good of you to come!Mozart: How could I not?Salieri: How… Did my work please you?Mozart: [hesitantly] I never knew that music like that was possible!Salieri: [uncertainly] You flatter me.Mozart: No, no! One hears such sounds, and what can one say but… “Salieri.”

    4. katellington

      Street art still abounds all over LIC see my post

  9. William Mougayar

    Like this one? The French like graffiti too.

    1. Twain Twain

      Haha, great wit since Beyoncé is always singing about the power of women!

  10. pointsnfigures

    I remember watching the beginning of Welcome Back Kotter in the 70’s and they used to show the NYC Subway cars rolling around covered with graffiti. I thought they were cool. If it’s imaginative, it’s cool. If it’s a spray paint scrawl, what’s the point?

  11. Twain Twain

    Graffiti in San Francisco’s Chinatown depicting Chinatown circa 1889.

  12. jason wright

    there’s an old and disused railway cutting not too far from where i am, and a modern road now cuts over the top with an underpass for pedestrians. it was forever being the target of the local intelligentsia’s graffiti (not so intelligent and not so very artistic), and so the council paid a firm to decorate it with murals using a special type of paint that’s impervious to graffiti spray paint. ok, it’s an imposition by authority over rebellion, but the output of the rebels was unimaginative, banal, and sometimes abusive.owls i think.

  13. Carl Rahn Griffith

    I took this by Paul Smith’s shop in Borough Market a few years ago. Always found it amusing….

    1. leapy

      Another in the same place…

  14. LIAD

    My fav piece of street art which i bought as a canvas and have in my office.

    1. george

      Great message…what motivates

  15. Brandon G. Donnelly

    I feel similarly about skateboarding on private property

  16. Jeff Judge

    I love it too. If only the folks tagging buildings in Chicago would step up their artistic game 🙂

    1. ShanaC

      actually, for many buildings, I wish they didn’t. Many buildings are built by notable architects and are sculptures by themselves 🙂

  17. Nawid

    Is there any potential to use street art as inspiration to create real products that represent the spirit of a city e.g. fashion, furniture etc?

  18. Carl Rahn Griffith

    In Arctic Monkeys land we do things a bit differently… 🙂

  19. reece

    41 comments and no one’s said “what IS art?” yet?

    1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      there was a comment above to which Tom answered it …. You FEEL it when you see IT.

    2. LE

      In the 80’s there was an artist that lived and painted above my business [1] until we expanded and needed the space for the office.At the time I was into steel shelving and I remember taking her to the basement and showing her the differences in shelving and explaining to her that to me it was art. And more specifically why. I could tell the difference in the bolting and the thickeness of the steel. Things that others probably just chunked [2] in their brain and ignored. I saw the detail and it mattered to me. And further at the time figuring out that art is really anything that you have learned to have an appreciation of. In my case it was steel shelving. She totally bought into that (because, of course, I was right). I’m sure others have had the experience of totally ignoring an everyday object until that object matters and then they begin to notice it and appreciate it much more. Like a professional grade stove or refrig. People didn’t care about that in the 60’s. Nobody saw beauty in a restaurant oven. They do now though.In the case of Fred, he has gained an appreciation of certain types of graffitti and consequently it is art to him. To me the design of certain cars is art (but not to my mom.). I can see art in some of the food dishes that I have created (and I would imagine so can Fred and Joanne). I take pictures of bagel, lox, creamcheese, tomato and capers.[1] Update: Amazing, this is her, she’s in NYC now (I’m going to write to her to confirm):…[2] Chunking is like “it’s a team uniform”. I see a team uniform you see much more because of your experience in sports. You can tell a nice one from a bland one. I can’t. It’s all chunked as “uniform”. Of course you could explain to me things and then I wold appreciate and possibly see the art.

  20. awaldstein

    We are of like mind Fred. Took this a little while back to me my new profile pic.Oy! Mispost and of course, can’t remove.

  21. Andrew Kennedy

    Same could be said about tattoos probably. Creativity expressed in public, for all to see. It’s rebellious. It’s leaving your mark on [yourself].

    1. andyswan

      most suck, and some are amazing. It’s a good analogy

  22. Anne Libby

    Here’s a link to an awesome Creative Mornings talk. THINKitem is an artist whose gallery experience noodged him into street art.

  23. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Also, in AM-land…

  24. Marcus Detry

    Fred – Have you been to Wynwood in Miami? Highly recommend it for anyone who appreciates street art.

  25. Max Yoder

    I recently moved to an up-and-coming neighborhood in Indianapolis called Fountain Square. While it’s not a perfect analogy, think of it like the Bed-Stuy of Indy.Anyhow, we threw a housewarming party last Friday, and random neighborhood folk came, which was great.When asked about his hobbies, one of the random gents explained that, on weekends, he walks around with a brush and a bucket of white paint and covers up lazy, eyesore-ish graffiti, leaving considered graffiti (like that above) alone.Whatever your stance on his actions, I think this guy and myself are going to be friends.

    1. andyswan

      FS is awesome and the guy sounds like an interesting dude.

  26. vruz

    Have you ever done the Buenos Aires street art tours?Here’s a few that I loved there:The Wizardhttp://www.streetartutopia….Yellow Airship…Wildcat…I like to find them online, on art blogs or even in Google Street View, then go to the actual site and see/witness the real thing before it fades away.

  27. curtissumpter

    I’ve just reached the level in coding where I’m starting to look less at function and more at aesthetic, design, … art. Graffiti is unauthorized art. But isn’t all real art unauthorized. I can’t make this happen yet but good design should be just as intrusive. It should be surprising in how intuitive it is. At it’s essence it should be delightful. I can’t do this yet but I’m trying.

    1. Dave Pinsen

      No, all real art is not unauthorized. Much of it was commissioned.

    2. David Bloom

      Most of it is done on materials not stolen from the owners and forced on the general public.

      1. curtissumpter

        I think this post is really for people that appreciate graffiti. If you don’t appreciate it then perhaps this isn’t the best post for you to participate in.

        1. David Bloom

          I have never thought that AVC comments needed to share a point of view (an ironic thought, given the iconoclastic nature of graffiti) but my point is made. I yield back the balance of my time. 🙂

  28. parisreader

    you know the best thing about your post? The comments! Great tour around the country- and further of graffitti in everyone’s cities. May I add to the film suggestions- Jon Reiss has made 2 really cool movies about graffitti around the world. “Bomb It” and “Bomb It 2 ” (you can find them on I-tunes)- enjoy 🙂

  29. markslater

    There is no better graffiti than the graffiti you place on your body…..

  30. David Bloom

    As much as I love and support the arts, taking someone else’s property for your canvas is theft. 99.99% of the time it is just pissing on a hydrant to mark your territory. 100% of the time it is a pain in the ass for the store or homeowner, or government that needs to clean it up. A neighbor has is front door tagged repeatedly. I don’t think he volunteered his property to promote innovation and personal expression.

  31. Chris Chaten

    The oddest part of cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi is being in a distincly urban environment without any graffiti. It’s actually a bit unsettling, like Pleasantville.That said, most graffiti is vandalism at best, and expression of gang turf battles at worst. The artistic style you picture is rare.

  32. Dave Pinsen

    Watch the beginning of My Dinner With Andre again and you’ll be reminded of how ugly graffiti in New York City looked circa 1981 –

  33. Lisa Abeyta

    I loved touring through neighborhoods in London where street art on the buildings are part of the appeal, and when I was in LA visiting with Jeanne Holme, the Chief Evangelist of Data.Gov, she shared the story of a neighborhood who came together to create a crowdsourced app documenting what was and wasn’t street art –

  34. JamesHRH

    There are very few creative callings that allow you to be a rebel & bank a coue hundred mil.VC a waaaaaay better choice than, say, being Gene Simmons.

  35. Chimpwithcans

    A great post. Have you ever tagged a building, Fred?

  36. Leonard Bogdonoff

    Im new here and love that @fredwilson:disqus is highlighting graffiti. Im working on building a platform to document street art in @garychou:disqus Orbital course.Im actively blogging about the project development here: http://blog.rememberlenny.c…The project is called @publicartfound. The goal is to have a repository of pictures, artist attributions, dates of creation/removal, and important press pieces.Ex: The Brooklyn Bridge white flag incident had its own page: http://www.publicartfound.c…If anyone wants to learn more or contribute, please reach out on twitter @rememberlenny:disqus

    1. Anne Libby

      Go, Lenny! Welcome.

    2. Alex Wolf

      Sound like fun! Good luck with it!

      1. Leonard Bogdonoff


    3. Kirsten Lambertsen

      That’s cool, Leonard! Gonna have to follow that.

      1. Leonard Bogdonoff

        I have a newsletter that Im using to keep people updated.Follow it at

  37. LE

    How is it possibly ok to deface someone else’s property without their permission?

  38. Jeffrey Woo

    Melbourne and Paris come to mind as having great ‘street art’. Singapore has one wall where the govt allows for spray painting. More importantly @fredwilson:disqus , how was Skal this time around? what were your favorite(s)?

  39. Twain Twain

    The High Line graffiti, NY.One of my favorite walks in the world.

  40. iggyfanlo

    I’d support public spaces where graffiti artists could do their work… and create, and tehn re-create and stun us and delight us… but private property… allowing, much less condoning or even encouraging… that’s a slippery slope that I don’t want to be on.. Our ability to innovate and create has sprung from the very laws of property, physical and intellectual that our society has built… as well as many other solid foundations, like smooth transfer of power, rule of law, laws of equality (not perfect, but trying)…Letting people put their “art” anywhere they want at any time is not a place I want to live

  41. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    In India we don’t have graffiti culture …. however we do have the culture of putting posters (especially movie posters on every wall you can see across India…here are some samples …some do look like graffiti…. especially the special posters made for English movies.

  42. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    Friday fun already started ?

  43. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    As I see public access pianos and instruments popping up in public I see them as invitations to aural graffiti. You like or not. You stay, pay or Go away. New that’s innovative and fun if you ask me

  44. andrewparker

    I use Graffiti all the time to explain thought leadership to entrepreneurs.I tell a simple story: at 11 Spring St, the Wooster Collective created an a three-day expo of graffiti featuring some of the best graffiti artists in the world. How was that location chosen? Well, for many years it had been a primer location to tag, and it was about to be torn down to build condos, so expo was a celebration of the many years in which this wall had served as a graffiti nexus point.If you were a graffiti artist, tagging the wall across the street was not good enough, it was this one building at 11 Spring that was the wall that mattered. This is thought leadership. Be the wall that matters. This phenomenon describes the success of Stack Overflow, Wikipedia, and other crowdsourced resources of top quality. There are countless places to ask and answer tech Q&A, and they internet is littered with forks/clones of Wikipedia… but these properties have thought leadership; they are the walls that matter.

    1. fredwilson


  45. Aaron Klein

    I love the graffiti photo I saw…this was spraypainted on a wall.THREE THINGS I HATE1. Vandalism2. Irony3. Lists

  46. Salt Shaker

    How much is tagging about self-expression and the love of art vs. the lure and thrill that comes w/ engaging in illicit activity? Would the interest still be as high if it constructively became permission based? No matter how you slice it, tagging is vandalism and it costs cities, local municipalities, landlords and homeowners alike millions of dollars annually to clean, money that could easily be put to far better use.In the 80’s, before migrating to steel encased subway cars that can easily be cleaned w/ ethyl glycol, NYC’s transit system mgt., the MTA, boneheadedly decided the best solution for removing graffiti was to paint over the cars in white, which taggers absolutely loved as it created the perfect canvas. (In the 80’s, the MTA’s annual cleaning budget was in excess of $50M.)Unless your name is Sherwin Williams, I have a really hard time seeing the benefits of (non-permission based) tagging. There are far more constructive and less costly ways to exhibit self-expression.

  47. Eric Woods

    I was saying to someone earlier this year how much I missed the beautiful murals the covered the subways when I was a kid. To me, they were truly inspirational medium of socio-political expression and as an iconic a symbol of the city as its most notable sky scrapers.Did you see this show at City Lore Gallery?

  48. Manuel Molina

    i like the idea of using your hands to create something personal. on the street, or inside the office. I do that every time i get a chance.

  49. Rob Underwood

    True, graffiti is technically a show of “disrespect of property rights”, but I’ll take it any day over the use of eminent domain to seize private homes to give to a private developer for a private use. #atlanticyardsI’d also add that the destruction of 5 Pointz was a tragedy and a huge loss to NYC.There is more to a city than luxury condos.

  50. Mariah Lichtenstern

    Real Graffiti is much different than mere tagging, which I agree is a blight. Graffiti is a beautiful art form much like murals. I’ve long wanted to see parks offering public “canvases” and display of Graffiti. I can imagine mazes, billboards, benches, you name it, all dedicated to displaying and honoring the art. I’ve only heard of one such initiative.

  51. matthughes

    Spotted an artist making this cool chalk graffiti recently:

    1. Anne Libby

      Union Square?

      1. matthughes

        No, other side of the map:Bend, Ore.

        1. Anne Libby

          Wow. There’s a guy I see making chalk drawings in Union Square every once in a while, thought this was one of his!

          1. matthughes

            Maybe he’s bicoastal? 🙂

          2. Anne Libby

            Always a possibility!

  52. Jitle

    Fred, I will briefly describe my linkage to success and loving graffiti.Many times over people have stated that one must posses a love of learning and curiosity to continue to develop themselves over their lives and careers and that it will often ultimately lead to something they are both good at and passionate about and hopefully that will result in their live’s determined level of success.When you love graffiti, you can never turn off. Your awareness and curiosity are constantly observing and seeking. You constantly see things that no one else does, not because you are special but because you thought to look. Walking in a city I am constantly “on” searching for the next mysterious piece. I am amazed at the hidden gems you can stumble upon as you go throughout your day with just a slight increase in your awareness and curiosity of what the next wall might unfold.Once this hidden joy reveals itself consistently in this one facet, you can program your body and mind to take that same curious consciousness to everything that you do. Hopefully it continues to grow and develop throughout your entire life and your career.

  53. Rick Mason

    As Detroit is starting its rebuilding some are taking a hard line on graffitti. Whatever you do don’t ever try to tag any of billionaire Dan Gilbert’s buildings. He’s got cameras everywhere and his thousands of employees will function as a face recognition engine for him. Even if you’re a suburban kid you cannot hide.

  54. Archer Hobson

    Love artistic graffiti. Can’t stand someone just writing their name in black spray paint on a beautiful building

  55. Jim Ritchie

    I like graffiti, on someone else’s property.

  56. Timothy

    You love graffiti until your the small shop owner who has to pay or manually clean up the vandalism some did to your building out of “creative expression”.Disclaimer: I’m a small shop owner. Not all graffiti is pretty like what’s pictured above.

  57. Semil Shah

    The art of tagging is true artistic rebellion.

  58. Alex Wolf

    LOVE GRAFITTI! A child of the NYC 70’s and 80’s.My signature looks like grafitti of that era.

  59. sigmaalgebra

    Art is tough to discuss in rational words. Or if such words could work, then the art would be less important.To my eyes, the image you showed has at least some merit as art. But there are many other outlets for art that do seem to be more appropriate for both the artist and nearly any audience.That art can be radical is an old story. E.g., Bach was radical, really if listen closely, still is. One way to see a little of how radical Bach was is the Stokowski arrangement for orchestra in…What Bach did at the end of the D major section of the ‘Chaconne’ still amazes me. Indeed, the start of the following D minor section is a ‘catharsis’ from what went just before! One of the Heifetz performances is especially good there.For more that’s radical, there is the solo piano piece, Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, a lot of fun to hear — amazing things with just a piano. Then M. Ravel did an orchestral ‘arrangement’, one step up for a man, a giant leap up for mankind, e.g., with Karajan,…or with Solti…For more that is radical in art, the Wagner operas are awash in it:’Lohengrin’, “Prelude”, Klemperer,…the funeral music near the end of ‘Götterdämmerung’,…’Tristan und Isolde’, “Liebestod”, Birgit Nilsson,…Gorgeous, surprising and even radical is,Saint Saens, ‘Samson et Dalila’, “Mon coeur”, Elina Garancas,…Sorry, for me, visual art, nope (although the art with Lohengrin above is just impossible not to understand and like); literary art, not a chance; music, YUP! Popular music? Nearly never. Bach, Mozart, Wagner, Verdi, Puccini? YUP!Mathematical art?Well, that L^2 is complete is astounding, beyond belief. And the proof is mostly just from the Minkowski inequality which is mostly just from convexity.The easy consequences of the Jensen inequality, easy to prove, are amazing, even radical, more fun than a bowl of caramel popcorn.The Poincaré recurrence theorem in ergodic theory — beyond belief. Pour cream into some coffee, stir long enough, and the cream will return as close as you please to just where it was when you poured it in; of course, this assumes a simplistic, ideal coffee and cream setup. But ergodic theory is about what is ‘measure preserving, and that gets involved in considering what happens in a black hole.That for each closed subset C of R^n there exists an infinitely differentiable, real valued function f: R^n –> R, zero on C and positive otherwise, is amazing. Why? Some closed sets are bizarre, e.g., sample paths of Brownian motion and fractals such as the Mandelbrot set. So, there is a very smooth thing, that function, very ‘close’ intuitively to a very irregular thing, a fractal — amazing. I’m not giving the original sources for all these results you understand!That could have a statistical hypothesis test that was both multi-dimensional and distribution-free has been called “radical, provocative”.For Brownian motion, there is an envelope so that for any x > 0, no matter how small, with probability 1 each sample path is, for the upper envelope, above the envelope less x infinitely often and above the envelope plus x only finitely often, and similarly for the lower envelope — beyond belief.Every martingale (listen up, Wall Street) either converges to a point or runs off to infinity; every stochastic process is the sum of a martingale and a predictable process — astounding.Under very mild assumptions, any sequence of independent renewal processes converges to a Poisson process, that is, with stationary and independent increments. So, when look out in space, don’t be too surprised to see examples of a Poisson process.In minimum cost flows on a network with integer arc capacities, given an initial basic, feasible solution, the simplex algorithm of linear programming will, with an anti-cycling rule such as Bland’s, maintain integer feasible solutions and produce an optimal solution that is integer. So we have a case of easy integer programming; considering all the struggles with NP-complete, amazing.For sorting n items via comparing pairs of keys, the fastest possible is (n)ln(n) — from A. Gleason! One of the cutest results in computer science algorithms.Yes, a function is Riemann integrable if and only it is continuous everywhere except on a set of measure zero. Yes, Virginia, there is a function which is differentiable but its derivative is not Riemann integrable. Yes, there are Cantor sets of positive measure.Take a sheet of paper, draw its boundary on a table, wad up the paper, and drop it within the boundary outline. Then some point on the paper is exactly on top of where it started — a famous fixed point result, astounding.Some of the consequences of the Baire category theorem can shake one’s beliefs about the possible nature of space itself.Most of the equivalences in NP-complete are beyond belief.

  60. FlavioGomes

    Great graffiti always makes me think about the artist more than a conventional paint on canvas would . I get this sense that he/she must have this enormous amount of pride and courage.

  61. Brian Dell

    Chekhov’s theory of graffiti from the short story “Lights”:”When a man in a melancholy mood is left tete-a-tete with the sea, or any landscape which seems to him grandiose, there is always, for some reason, mixed with melancholy, a conviction that he will live and die in obscurity and he reflectively snatches up a pencil and hastens to write his name on the first thing that comes handy. And that, I suppose is why all convenient solitary nooks like my summer-house are always scrawled over in pencil or carved with pen-knives.”

  62. michaelgalpert

    one of my biggest complaints about SF is the lack of wheatpasting. gonna have to change that 🙂

  63. JD

    If you like Graffiti next time you are in Europe stop by Berlin and take a tour guided by Sandemas kids ( it’s called underground graffiti or something similar).You will remember for ever 🙂

  64. Jeff Jones

    Near Puck Fair in NYC…always made me think

  65. howardlindzon

    I prefer to visit graffiti and stare at the ocean

  66. Mariah Lichtenstern

    Oh, look, they released the identity of the officer who shot #MichaelBrown just for this blog topic… #inothernews #graffitti RIPMikeBrown ='(

  67. WayneMulligan

    Late to the party here, but I had to comment on this. Graffiti was a HUGE part of my teenage years, as was technology/hacking.I went to the Manhattan High School of Art & Design which produced (in addition to a few notable fashion designers) some of the best graffiti artists in the city. Many of whom are now running graphic/web design shops here in NY.A lot of similarities between tech entrepreneurship and graffiti:1. Anti-authority/Rebellion — “Why shouldn’t I paint that wall? Because someone said so? Fuck that.” vs. “Why shouldn’t I start that company? Because everyone says it’s a bad idea? Fuck that.”2. Risk Taking — Ever see some of the graffiti on the outside of the Hell’s Gate Bridge or the rooftops on the 7 line? Takes a lot of balls to hit a spot like that. Also takes a lot of balls to try and start something from nothing.3. Creativity and Innovation — Forget simple tags and the fill-ins you see on the street. Look at what guys like Daim have been able to do with spray paint (image attached)…’nuff said.I’m not sure how many folks would admit it, but I suspect there are plenty of NYC born & bred entrepreneurs that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s that at least dabbled in graffiti back in the day.

  68. Gaya Hidup-info

    wow very cool

  69. andyidsinga

    .ZMMMMM7. . . .. ..NO$7$O$7II??+==+=N$..:MM+….. . .I$?II$7II7$777II+===++?++O=.:?=?=$M …M+++++77IIII7II???++?~~=+++++?M..D?+=++OI…. .7++++=??7II????+=??=?+====?=?=++??M..?++++=?+I.. …O+=++????+++?+?++=++++++=+=~+=++=?+?IIN.$=+=+=+=+8…. .O+=+===?+++?+??++++==++++=?+++?==?I?I?7II?..~=++++++?M.. . .M?++++====+==~+=++=~==+=++????++=+~???II?IIIO.N==+=+???+M. . .M???++=+=~+~===+=+?+=~+++=+?++I+??=??I????I??I$.O=+++?+??I+I. .M?I7??++===~=+==?MNMMMM$DZD???==++=+?I??+?I???IIM.?=??+?+I+?+N… .??I77I+??++~=?M8Z=+=7MMMM?ON7D=+~=+=+?+???++???II7:.++?=?I?+==+?.. ..,II7II?+?+++=IMMD=MNMNM?MMM7M~D8M++=?=+++??III7I77I7.M=+?++?=++=++.. ..I7II??I+?++??MMMMM===+~M8MNMII8ZDM===+=+=+??I?III777M.=??+++=~==+?I.. .=7II?IIII?+=+M?M==~~~~+++M7M$MZD?ZNDM=++?+++?I7??I7I?I.M+??+=~==++II7… .DI??++?++++I+DMM+~~~~~::$MM:M7MON+MMMMM=+=++?+??I???+ID +~??????+?II7I.. .7II?+???~=~=$MMM+~~~~:78ZZO$M8M8$87MMMMZ7??++?+++++=++N.++?I???II7I777M. .7???=??=+~=IMDMN+?NNO++OMMMNMMNOZD~M77ZM8?====+++==+==I.O?++?I?II7I7$7$+ =7?II?I?+==?+N?=IZDMMMDDMMMM8NMMM=D7?M87ZN?+~=+===+==~?I.M?????IIII7$777Z. II7$7?I?+++?I?$I=$NMM++MMMM+MNNMNZ~M$=DO?O7$++=?+??+??II.M?++77777$77I$77=. .77IIII??++?+==MNMMMM+~=~D==?MMDMMD=Z8DO8MDNIOII?I??++77.D+++III7II7$$$$ID.. .+.777I7I?????=?+ZMMMM?=INMZ$?=+DMNNMNOI=$OODIMIII777???7O.I?+I?7II77$7$$7$7.. I.O??7II?????++7IMMMI:7MM=:++N===MDM7MNZ$$MMMD?I?I$77Z$$M.+??I?I7II7I7$7Z$$+. I.M+?II??+??+??Z$7MM,~+M,~O~=IMMI7MMMMZMDMMM7MI??III$$$O.OI=+I?I777I77$$77$M. IM.?II7??+++??$$NMMNM77~$M~=~MMMD??MOOO8NZMNM7???II77$$N.7==++?I7II77$$77$7M. .I7.MI7?++?+=+?I7ZZMMMM$Z8NMMMMMMN?ZMMMM7?7DMN8M8???+?7$.~?++??+II7$7777$7$$D. .$7M.M7I?=++++?I??=ZMNMM7DMMM$MMMD77N8MMZOMDMMO8DOOI777M.??I??I+I7$$I7$7$$$$D. .$7IZ.O7?I=+?+??I?+?I8ZM??MMMMMMM$II?N8MMMMMM8ZD88O7II8.M=?I?+I?II7$77777777M. .$77?$.?????+??III+$+$8MOI=OMMMM8I?I+===?++?NO8NZ8ZZZ$I7N?+?+I??IIIII77777$$M. .$I?+=$.+??+????+++++Z$MMMMMMD7+7?+I======+7OOOM$ZOMO77$7777NI++=?I??II77I77M. .$?++=?Z.7+????+?+++=ONODMMMM$=7O+?=====+?+88O878O$OZZ$Z$$$77I=+?+??I?IIII?7M. .$I?+?+?M.M??==+?+=++I??ONDNM:===++~=~=+?=M8OZMZOOMOZZO$ZZZZ$77O+++=?II7III7M. .$I+++??I?..N++==?+++++ZMDOM,:====~~~~~~=?OZZO$$OZDOZOZOZZZZZ$$I8?I?II7I?II?M. .$IIII?7?I+7 .M+=+?=?N$MOZD:=:~::~~~~~~~$8ZOON$$Z8OOOOZ$$$ZZOZZ$7M???7?I??7?M. .$II$7I7?I????=.+N?7$ZZ8ZO.,,:::::::::+.MOOZO$$OZNZOOOM$7$ZZZ$ZZ$?NI?7I77II7M. .$77I77I??+?+=?~M..8OZD$OM .N,,::::I…OZ$ZZ7ODM8OOOOOZZZZZ$MO$7Z78I?I7I7IIM. .$7777$77II?===+??I8OMOZO.. .,,,:,…..DO$$8$7ZNNOOOO8OZZOZZMOZZZ7777I77?7IIM. .$$7$777?II+?~?+?$DOZOOOM.. ..D+… .NOZZZDIOON8$ZOOMOOZ8ZN8Z$8ZZ77N7777I77M. .$$7Z777I?==+?+++O8DMZZZ… . . … .OOZ8OM78ZDOZ$ZOM8OOOMO7OZO8OZZO7$$7$7$M. .$$$N8I?=::~=7~..?.?8$ZM. ..:8ZOOOI7$M8ZZ$$ZDOOO88O7OO8DONOO8I$7Z$$M. .$$7M8I?=::…..?7=IOZZ.. .MOOZZMO8O8OZZZ$ZOOOOM8Z$$88O7$Z$OM$777IM. .$77ZI7I?+?+=??++==+8OO.. OO8OO7$$8O$$Z$Z8O8O88OZZZOZ777$$$M8$$IIM. .$7$7D7?I?8M?IZ7I?I$OZ~ . ..888OMOZO8Z$$ZZOMO8OM8ZZO8Z7$7Z7$7ZMI7$IM. .$$$DII+$=I$MI7++I~.,D. . .88O$87$ZMO$$$ZZZM88O88O8O$7$$Z$Z7$$M7I+?M. .$$7OMI?~~=,.7=?I=.+7=~=: . .MOZOMOZ8DZ$$7$$ZM88MD888$$ZZOZZ$Z$78?I+=M. .$77D?I?+MOO+~?II=~.~=::::. ,ZZOZ7Z8MOZ$$77$OOD8MN8O$ZZOOZOZOOZ$ZI?++M .$IIO???$INI+?===7$?..Z::::. ~ZOZMZ8NMZZZ$77$O8D8NNO$O8OZZZOOOOOZ$OI++M. .$I?M??II~=+:87+I77$..7:~::: . MZ$O$Z8DOZ8$$$$$O8DDMO$ZO8M8$ZZOZOOZZN+I?M. .$II$??I7IMMNI++7+$7$.+~::::~. . OZOMOOM8Z$8$$ZZZN8NMOZO8MMMZ$ZZZZZZZZZ??7M. .$7OOI?IIO=I:?+++=77$:7Z::::.. .~OOOMONMOZ$Z$$ZZZMDN8OMMMMMM$$ZZ$ZZZOZ7I$7M. .$778N7I7?ZMNMZ7+++??.+7:::. .MOZONODMOZZ$Z$ZOOMDDNOOZDMM$$ZZOZZ$ZZ$$Z7IM. .$77MM7IIIII:+,7++===~ZI~:: ..OZOO$DDOOOO$ZZZOOMNNM88OZMM$ZZZOO$ZZZ$ZN?IM. .$77D7$$7IDZZ7Z:=I+I7$7.=:~ .$ZZMDMDOOOOZZ$ZO8MDNMO8Z$ZMZOO8OZ$O$ZZ$777M. .$I77II7788$7I$7?7=I77.?D=+ +ZZO$8NNO8OOZZZZZ8MDNMOOZ$7$ZZ$ZOZZZZZ$$78$M. .$777MIIIOZZD$I.8++77$..I=~. OZO8ZZDM8OOOZZ$ZO8MNNMOZOOZ$ZZZ$OZZ$ZZZ$$N7M. .$$$OM7778Z7MMI.:++777$+?~~ M$ZOZO888OOZZZOZO8MDDMOZZZOOOOOZZOOZOZZZ777M. .$Z787?I?8O?MMII?I+.Z=I77O.. .8Z$OO88O8OZZ$ZZO88MNNMOOO$OOOOOZZOOZO$$7$$?M. .$77OO?I?7ZMMMZ7?I+7$IZ+==. .Z$Z8OO8OOZZZ$ZZZ88MNDMZOOZZZOZZOZOZOO7ZZZ$NM. .$$$III?I??MMMMMMN8NMM====+. .ZZZOZ8OO8ZZZ$ZZZ88MNDMOOO8$ZOZZOZZZO$$ZZZ$DM .$$$M8$?7+MMMMMMMM8MM~===, .. .IZZZ8ZO8ODO$Z$ZOZ8OMNDMOOO88ZZ$O$ZZ$ZZZ$ZZZ$M. .$$$I?I7IINMMMMMDDNMM===~.. ..MOZO8ODOZZOZZZZOZ88MNNMOOOOOOOOOZZZZZOZ$ZZZ$M .$$7777$IIM$8MMM8$MMM====.. ,MOOOD8MOZZOOZZZOO88MNDMDOZ$ZZOOZOZZZ$Z$$ZZZ$M. .$77$$777I?IMZ8N8$NMM==?: . .=MOZ8O8M8ZZZOOZZOO8MMNDMMO$$ZZZZOOZZO$Z$Z$ZN8M. $Z$$$$$$777Z7I8O88NMM====~~~~==MOO8O8MNOOOO8OOOO8NMDDMMOOOZOZOOZZOZOOOOZOZZM.

    1. andyidsinga

      the dude!

  70. LE

    I see that Fred has mentioned in another comment that his house has been tagged.So let me explain what is going on here. Fred’s brain has somehow associated all things good about NYC with graffiti. So he’s turned a negative into a positive in his head. He’s flipped the reward system. Kind of in the same way if you watch those real estate shows where they talk about “a New York view” people ooh and ahh about being high above a bunch of dirty buildings with steam rising from them and HVAC units and water towers. They think it’s great because they’ve been brainwashed into appreciating that (and actually it’s art to them) and perhaps it is great if you’ve always been down on street level because it’s like you’ve arrived. I grew up in Philly and my dad had a low story building and I remember looking out on the city and what I saw was a dirty buildings and I can tell you for sure there was no love or appreciation there. [1] And nobody else had it either. Because it was the dirty city and people wanted to be out of the city. And years later when I sold my business I couldn’t wait to get out of the city. And go where there was trees and open space and no gum on the sidewalks. And no traffic on 95s. Living in the city was definitely out of the question for all but a few. (I was around prior to Old City being restaurants and housing and I saw the transformation..)NYC now has a sheen on it because of all the money floating around. It’s really that simple. Take the money out and put the people somewhere crappy and you will see that all the sudden they “art” won’t be looking that good.Anyone who wants to see NYC without the money should watch this BBC piece “New York – Nightmare in the City that Never Sleeps”…[1] In fact there was even a kick ass view of the Ben Franklin bridge from the building.