Graffiti in New York City, 2022


Williamsburg Bridge


Brighton Beach

Electronic sign displaying “Eat shit and fry”

Graffiti seen from Southbound N-Train, April 2022


“The Radiant Child” (Artforum 1981)

Rene Ricard, “The Radiant Child” Artforum, December 1981 (link):

“The graffiti style, so much a part of this town, New York, is in our blood now. It’s amazing that something so old can be made so new. There is an instant appeal in the way spray paint looks, ditto markers. Any Tag by any teenager on any train on any line is fairly heartbreaking. In these autographs is the inherent pathos of the archaeological site, the cry down the vast endless track of time that ‘I am somebody,’ on a wall in Pompeii, on a rock at Piraeus, in the subway graveyard at some future archaeological dig, we ask, ‘Who was Taki?'”

“Graffiti has been around in the way we recognize it now for about ten years and whether one considers this a long or a short amount of time (the entire High Renaissance from the painting of the Mona Lisa to the Sistine ceiling covered exactly ten years) it is already in its second generation.”

“I think about how every bleach blonde is called Blondie in the street and Deborah Harry’s refutation of her iconic responsibility to reify her name as a brunette. We are that radiant child and have spent our lives defending that little baby, constructing an adult around it to protect it from the unlisted signals of forces we have no control over. We are that little baby, the radiant child, and our name, what we are to become, is outside us and we must become ‘Judy Rifka’ or ‘Jean-Michel’ the way I became ‘Rene Ricard.'”


Rene Ricard
“The Radiant Child”
Artforum, December 1981