Issue No. 6 – February 2012

David Sharp

In our long-awaited sixth issue of Global Graffiti Magazine, we are excited to present an array of features (by artists, poets, and authors) which broadly consider the theme of street art and graffiti throughout the world.  While many of the pieces presented in this issue directly consider tangible public zones perceivable to any onlooker, others instead reflect on the realm of private and invisible spaces as well. We consequently envision this issue to be a thoughtful meditation on an often nebulous distinction between exteriority and interiority, public and private spaces, the realm of the visible and the invisible, and the nexus between these different spheres that is not always apparent upon first glance.  As always, the melding of local and global culture again moves to the fore, as these pieces continually illustrate an increasingly diasporic world where ideas, histories and cultures intersect in fascinating and unexpected ways.

Our first piece by Gregory Linton titled “Street Art VS Graffiti on the Streets of Los Angeles” considers the current coexistence between graffiti writers and street artists in the metropolis.  In contrast to the historic dynamic of rivalry that has existed between the two groups, the city becomes a public and detectable stage where a newfound harmony between artistic purpose and vision plays out.

In “Beautification Proposal for the City of Los Angeles and Other Incorporated Cities of Los Angeles County from the East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines,” a collaboration between writer Sesshu Foster and visual artist Arturo Ernesto Romo-Santillano, the duo imagines a city where tribute is paid to historical iniquity, suffering, and violence observable through communal displays of visual imagery and text.  This beautification project proposes a union between the past and the present, imagining the streets of present day Los Angeles as a literal crossroads, an energetic site that owes its current reality, as well as its cultural and social fabric, to an active and sometimes unperceived process of migration, movement, tragedy and displacement.

In “The Ache of the Real: Streets, Cyberspace and Alternative Vision,” writer Mariette Papic explores public space politics within New York City. Her article meditates on a desperate yearning for self-expression, one that links the tagger to the hacker.  While they operate through different practices, Papic demonstrates how they both function similarly within society as an active, oppositional and viral subculture.

“Lost in Buenos Aires, Street Art Got Me Home” by photojournalist Alissa Guzman documents the mnemonic power of public art.  Narrated through both images and words, Guzman offers a glimpse into the murals and visual representations of the South American megacity that both introduced and oriented her in a foreign space, and ultimately configured her mental map of the capital’s circuitous streets.

New Zealand based filmmaker Nick Stevenson has contributed a short but engaging video on acclaimed graffiti artist Owen Dippie from the city of Tauranga, New Zealand.  The film showcases the labor and creativity involved in the preparation of a studio and gallery space in anticipation of its opening in September 2011.

After a hiatus spanning over a generation, graffiti artist Dose DV, a veteran “dedicated vandal” based in the United Kingdom, has recently reawakened his passion for creating public art in the environs of London and his native Kent through colorful, complex and vibrant murals. We include some of his pieces from the 80s and since his reemergence here.

Moving from the streets of the city to the beaches outside of  Buenos Aires,  we are excited to share Andrea G. Labinger’s translation of  the short story Warning” by Argentine author Inés Fernández Moreno.  While the tangible space of the seashore is the setting for the tale, the mind of the individual is the true locale for a woman’s apprehensions and reflections about growing old.

In Noelia Díaz’s fictional story “Happenstance,” an unexpected encounter leads the protagonist to consider his past, the unforeseen vicissitudes of a life, and the inevitable passing of time to which all people throughout history and the world are passive witnesses.

James Nikopoulos’s essay “Winnie’s Smile (The Joy of Samuel Beckett)” investigates how we interpret and perceive common displays of emotion and sentiment.  Focusing on the seemingly natural and simple visual cue denoting happiness and well-being, the article considers the artifice and deliberation that sometimes lurks behind a smile.

Finally, we are very pleased to present frequent contributor Lauren Villa’s poem “A Lick of Heaven.”

We hope that you enjoy this issue and invite you to send along any comments to globalgraffmag@gmail.com.  Please remember to check back for our Issue No. 7 Call for Submissions.

A poetic street sign in West Hollywood (Photo credit: Monica Hanna)

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