Conversation with Steven Harrington, California Graffiti Artist
Your story with Doodle? What does graffiti mean to you?
I was exposed to graffiti when I was 8 or 9 years old. I still remember that my friends and brothers would wander around the streets in the 90s with Mean Streaks markers in their bags, leaving their marks. At that time, graffiti was a part of street culture and life. To be honest, I still don't know how to describe my artistic style. I am good at speaking visually, not through words. I tend to use thick lines and bright colors, and I like to use cartoon characters to convey my message.
What do you think is the biggest change in graffiti culture since 2000?
In my opinion, the biggest change in the past ten years is the acceptance of graffiti culture by art galleries and large art institutions. The "Art In The Streets" MOCA exhibition curated by Jeffrey Deitch and Roger Gastman is a good example. These similar exhibitions brought about a huge revolution, and the support of graffiti culture by large art institutions and museums can also be seen.
The biggest change in the past decade has been the acceptance of graffiti culture by art galleries and large art institutions.
Has social media brought some changes to graffiti culture?
I think social media provides a more convenient and faster information channel. When I was young, I could only see graffiti on the streets of my city. If you are lucky, you might find a graffiti magazine or Zine that teaches you how to use spray paint. Today, through platforms such as Instagram, you can see what is happening around the world in real time.
From murals, canvases, toys and even clothes and sneaker designs, you cover a wide range of fields. Which medium is your favorite?
I like all media. Although the design of a toy seems to have nothing to do with the design of sneakers, they are interoperable. I like to try different media, which will produce many surprises.
How to view the connection between street art and street clothing?
My view is similar to the previous question. I think that art has always led fashion, and fashion is also influencing the art world. The best works of art can transcend the constraints of the platform.
Art has always led fashion, and fashion is also influencing the art world, and the best artworks can cross the shackles of the platform.
From street walls to museum collections, do you think the boundary between graffiti and traditional art is becoming blurred over the years?
Sure, I think this boundary is really blurred. I prefer to call it contemporary art rather than street art.
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