Tonight, as part of Design Week Portland, AIGA Portland will premiere Graffiti Fine Art by Jared Levy at GRAFT.
Nicole Lavelle caught up with Levy to discuss graffiti in relationship to fine art and design:
Your film deals with the relationship between graffiti and fine art, but what about graffiti and design? What parallels do you see between the two?
I think that graffiti is design. Graffiti is really an urban or street representation of design elements. Balance, proportion, color scheme, size, and environmental surroundings are all considered when an artist paints a piece. Even when thinking about handstyle, the flow and font-like similarity between the letters are characteristics viewed as extremely important when discussing a graffiti writer’s merit.
Do you differentiate between graffiti and street art? When considering the two within the larger arena of visual culture, do you see a benefit to considering them one and the same, or separate?
They are, without a shadow of a doubt, separate. To put it as simply as possible: graffiti is letters. Letter style and communal respect are the currency that the game operates on. There are unwritten rules and an entire culture within graffiti. Street art, on the other hand, can really be anything you want it to be. Artistic self-expression in a public environment is street art.
Read the entire interview here. Go to GRAFT tonight (there are a cocktail of tickets left). Check out the GFA preview below.