There were lots of different graffiti-writers at the end of the 19th century, but graffiti started to appear at the end of the decade when a lot of men were out of work and homeless and the city wanted to get rid of all those trash cans and signs they had put up. Some people wanted to put their own signs back up in order to get the city to move.
Did it go on for that long?
It kind of started in the middle of the night on the corner of 3rd and Spruce in 1911, right before Christmas. It grew more and more and became more of a tradition. The city changed its ordinances a lot in the 1960s, so once that happens, the law becomes the graffiti law.
What was the most notable part of all this graffiti?
The most notable thing is that the graffiti became a really unique artwork. I guess the most popular image of it is the image of the guy standing on the hood of his car with the words “I hate people, and I’m not going to be happy until people die.” The most famous image of the graffiti and graffiti artists is the famous figure with the three-headed dog. The graffiti also was very popular with street kids around the city.
How did graffiti get started in Chicago?
That’s not really the story. It started in the ’50s with writers and writers making graffiti and they got more popular after the 1970s. They also had the most intense gang wars in the city at the time.
Does it still happen?
No, but it’s definitely different than the old days. A lot of writers now were teenagers when the first thing they did was throw a bunch of graffiti up. The graffiti culture here is not nearly as intense. But the word-based graffiti that we see today is pretty intense.
Can you describe the image you had there?
That was a painting from the ’80s, a guy who was standing alone on the side of the road at 3PM. He had the words “I feel safe right here, I feel safe enough.”
Do you use it?
There are other times I’ll use that image, but for my own work I’ll really put that first. Also, I’ll go up to any random car and paint a picture on their windshield so they can’t see my real-life face.
How did you get it painted?
It started in 2007 with a friend
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