Friday, January 25, 2008

graffiti in knoxville film

Knoxville Graffiti

The word around Market Square today was that the police had caught a graffiti [artist?] suspect. I didn't find any news reports on it yet, but it did lead me to an article on two guys who got caught last year: Christopher "Bantr" Jones and Seth "Mind" Calehuff. On the same google search the above video came up on MySpace video (wth?) and it's interesting. It brings up some of the same points made by our commenters.

Is graffiti art? Is it a crime? Is it both at the same time? Is there "art graffiti" and just mere tagging? Is urban blight fair game for artistic expression? "Mind" and "Bantr" (the guys interviewed in the film) got the smack down from the powers that be for expressing themselves as they saw fit. They knew the risks. Mayor Haslam has basically declared war on graffiti.

It's good to see some other Knoxvillians examining these issues and producing a pretty decent documentary about it. Get out of MySpace world, though, where the rest of us are. 
My personal position is more ambiguous. For the time being I'm looking at it like a war photographer: I want to record and document something that i think is interesting and noteworthy, yet I don't condone nor condemn what I'm documenting.
Let's keep the dialog going. What do you think?

14 comments:

Kari said...

hey...love this film....i've seen mind and bantr up everywhere. thanks for posting this.

millie said...

Mind and Bantr may claim they're doing it for the love of art and to change people's minds, but I never saw a piece of theirs that wasn't sloppy and poorly placed. If we're going to hear from writers in Knoxville, round up LIME, Griftr, ghost or any of the Nashville IA crew who show up now and again.

That said, I'm sorry they got caught and disappointed Mayor Haslam slapped them with 16 felonies. I think Knoxville needs better graffiti, not less.

ball said...

wooord

amberisastunna said...

there stuff is boss

zene... said...

man.thats bullshit.
we just wanna decorate the city. an people like the fuck nigga mayor are always tryn to stop us. well fuck all the haters.graffiti is art.and your never gonna stop me so get used to it. -CBA

james said...

yeah dude. hes right. we will never be stopped.

AND_CF said...

i just got arrested for graff a couple months ago and althoughit wasn't the best thing to get arrested for i'm goin to write as soon as my probation's up
CF all day
knox taggerz keep writin stay up

stuna said...

yeah i think that graffiti is the best form of art my name is stuna and i wont stop doing it i do it for the respect and if you nigs want to talk shiznit it will just give me more incintive to do it more

stuna said...

well it stuna again to pop in with a little advice if u gonna tag do it right dont go out and do somr dumb ass name u toy ass bitchs let me catch u doin stupid shiznit like that and i will kick ur ass stunna fo show

lime said...

well this is lime i do do it like what stuna said i do it for the respect i love the art that i do and noone will stop me not even the law yeah thats right not even the law so come and get me you fucking pigs

Anonymous said...

Is there not a difference between tagging and graffiti? Tagging is for little boys that are excited to have a nickname.

stuna said...

well its stuna im back them punk ass pigs arnt gonna stop me like lime said and i said we do itfor the respect im not in k town anymore im in a hick ass town called blevins it suxs here noone to respect the work i do ill put one or two up in a day and the next day them btchs wanna cover them and call the po po ive done over one hundred around here and they all get covered if they knew how mutch time and effort it took they may take into consideration that maybe it is art but they wont stop me from doing it just by covering them up ill just go right back over where they covered it up at by the way that shit that lime did on that building in knoxville is the shiz nity love your work dude "mesko lime". stuna out you have influnced me to do better work lime thank you

Jessica said...

Not sure if any of these people can be accessed still but I am looking for a graffiti artist in Knoxville to do some work for a new bar downtown. Contact me via Facebook by Jessica R. Abbit and send me a message so I know what's up.

Zoot Radical said...

I would love to get in contact with Lime... I really respect that dude. Wanna meet him.