"You can go wild on the wall, everything that comes to your imagination"
July 16, 2015 6:14 PM   Subscribe

"The thing I find very exciting is waiting for the subway train and sometimes you'll get a glorious one that arrives decorated like a birthday cake!" Watching My Name Go By is a short 1976 BBC documentary about graffiti, artists, and graffiti artists in New York City. The film is based on Norman Mailer's 1974 essay for Esquire magazine, "The Faith of Grafitti." [via]
posted by Room 641-A (5 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Nice bit of nostalgia porn.

Back in the day, the name Poet 151 always stuck out to me. I wonder whatever happened to the person attached to that.
posted by maggiemaggie at 6:46 PM on July 16, 2015

This is great. So even-handed. New York looked like a filthy shithole back then, but everyone in that doc is weirdly endearing. And man, what was the deal with Norman Mailer?
posted by Dr. Send at 8:21 PM on July 16, 2015

Ew. I much prefer my subway cars clean and air-conditioned, thanks.
posted by monospace at 8:29 PM on July 16, 2015

Second para of the Mailer article, second sentence: TAKI 183.


[Memories of a hot September '73]
posted by Mister Bijou at 1:26 AM on July 17, 2015

Robert Moses, a man who never learned to drive (the only thing I have in common with him, as he rode everywhere in chauffeured limousines), took money from the subways to build giant road bridges to increase congestion in Manhattan. The result was a policy of "deferred maintenance" on the subway: if you don't wash the cars, they don't rust as quickly, and just maybe they'll last until there's a change in the city's fortunes.

It wasn't until the late 1980s that the "I ♥ NY" campaign started and they started cleaning them again. That's basically two decades of subway cars as untouched canvasses. Some folks were outraged when they started cleaning them and bringing in new grafitti-resistant claddings (if you search, you can find old hair-pulling prose bemoaning the inhuman use of "acid" to remove tags).
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 2:47 AM on July 19, 2015

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