Aging Graffiti Artists in New York Still Have Urge to Tag
Graffiti , an explosive art form of the 1970s and 1980s, has diminished in popularity, but aging graffiti artists are still out there tagging trains, walls, and other city surfaces. In its heyday, graffiti pitted artists against each other to see who could create the most visually edgy and elaborate murals in the most dangerous places. Graffiti documentarian and photographer Henry Chalfant said, “The whole scene has evolved to something beyond just writing your name. Artists are making comments about culture, about society. It’s a personal vision of an artist.” Those who dominated the scene in the 80s are still making their marks, like Angel Ortiz, 45, who was recently jailed after getting caught grafting, but usually spends his time painting, and teaching his daughter’s classmates how to draw.