In forty years, graffiti has grown from a local New York subculture into a worldwide phenomenon with its own heroes and business models. Embraced as urban decoration or buffed by all means, graffiti has escaped a slow death, mainly thanks to the internet. Actions in the real world are increasingly carried out and documented with their digital distribution in mind, leading to refreshing self-reflection and an emphasis on the performative nature of writing.
Don’t tell the taggers, but graffiti has evolved into a mature, varied artform that doesn’t shy away from difficult themes and that combines resistance against repression with a contagious hacker mentality. Meanwhile, the kick of illegality continues to be an important motivation, inextricably linked to kudos and street credibility.
With #ViralVandals we presented an exhibition about the second life of graffiti. Going virtually viral will replace the street in the quest for even greater visibility. New forms of expression emerge and the DNA of the scene changes irreversibly. A monument to the international, online graffiti community—young creators and global icons—in Eindhoven.
Photos by Hanneke Wetzer
“In Eindhoven is te zien hoe kunstenaars graffiti een tweede leven geven.” - De Volkskrant