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How Graffiti Became Gentrified

"...affluent college graduates enacted a great migration from the suburbs to the country’s cities, graffiti became the literal poster board for the “authentic” urban culture they were seeking—driving up prices along the way. It was only a matter of time before the artists themselves got wise."


"In Style Wars, then-MTA Chairman Richard Ravitch, who is often credited with rescuing New York’s subway from infamy as a graffiti-plastered hellscape, said of the youths tagging the subway lines: “It isn’t the energy that is misplaced, it’s the value system that’s misplaced.” One could just as easily say the same for a city that rewards real-estate developers that use street art to lure gentrifiers, while calling that same art ugly and antisocial."

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