Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Yesterday's graffiti is today's art and tomorrow's economic growth
An exhibit in San Diego incorporating the work of famous former(?) graffiti artists into prominent public spaces around the city brings up a question I've raised previously: "Maybe it's time society started to view graffiti artists not as mere lawbreakers but as creative, marketable human capital? Perhaps it would be smarter to spend public resources not to maximally punish graffiti, but to identify emerging artists and invest in their development?" By 2016, according to a prominent recent study, 1 in 12 Texas jobs will be in the creative sector, which is the fastest growing sector of the economy. Most wall writers will never make a living as artists, just as most bloggers will never make a living as writers. But I've always thought graff writers performing at high levels - like some of the Austin folks whose work is featured on this site - could pretty easily find ways to monetize their talents and ultimately create economic growth for those around them.