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  • RachelETobin

    I really don’t like that this man was killed by the Transit Police, because it gives them a bad name all over the country. I also think that, even though this was a Subway, in New York, why weren’t the actual police called to bring him in for an arrest. Another thing that I don’t like about this case is that this young man will never have a true trial, and justice will never truly be served because, first of all he is dead, and second, he was black. I really don’t like the double standards that people have against those that have been violently killed, or those that are a different color. Another thing that I don’t like, is that this happened just because he was creating art, granted it wasn’t in a studio, but who actually has the money for a studio, or supplies to be able to work in a studio these days? But my point, is, is that this was a young artist, who was just trying to create a name for himself. And now his art is worth tons of money, is a little ironic. It’s as if, people have to die in order to be understood, or respected for what they brought to this world. It’s not when these people were living that they were able to create a name for themselves, but it’s after they are gone, and others look back at what they have done for the world.

  • PatriciaLevesque

    It seems that street artisits are often on the edge of social justice, makes me consider who the message is for and who actually hears it.  The irony is wondering how many of the wealthy patrons now buying up this body of work actually hear the message.
    That said I’v always loved street art

    • @PatriciaLevesque good question..
      i think the message is for everyone.. is that lost in the galleries?? i can only hope not

      • Bob Phillips

        @nancy a heitzeg  @PatriciaLevesque
         Hope in one hand . . .

  • PatriciaLevesque

    It seems that street artisits are often on the edge of social justice, makes me consider who the message is for and who actually hears it.  The irony is wondering how many of the wealthy patrons now buying up this body of work actually hear the message.
    That said I’v always enjoyed loved street art

  • Bob Phillips

    Thanks for this, Nancy. The art is magnificent. Provocative. Yet it brings me face to face with very mixed emotions about the medium. There is much beautiful wall art in my neighborhood, and too many gang signs and the like as well. Very mixed emotions.

    • @Bob Phillips hey bob
      Yes and where is the line?? i suppose that is always the question isn’t it?

  • prisonculture

    @naheitzeg Read it. Loved it. Tweeted it out. Thank you for writing it.

    • naheitzeg

      @prisonculture Thank you. Please me know what CI can do – if anything — to try to shake people form this damn deja vu

  • Domino14

    Thankyou Nancy..  always learning here..

    • @Domino14 thank you for stopping domino
      Basquiat was something

  • Sberel

    Lovely, thanks, Nancy. There is something appropriate about soothsayer asking us to look at Basquiat’s art.  My daughters and I stopped in one day at the museum and it was the last day of a Basquiat exhibit.  It was very emotional.  The work is so three-dimensional, photos cannot do it justice.

    • @Sberel thank you :) yes it is so emotional — glad you got to see in person
      thanks for stopping sberel

  • KayWhitlock

    This:  “the fine and shrinking line between expression and criminalization.”
    Thanks for this, Nancy.  Cultural forms of expression are critical to the struggle.

    • @KayWhitlock Yes
      I loved Andy Keith and Jean-Michel — more there than most think about

    • KayWhitlock

      I also meant to say that cultural expression brings us face to face with humanity and inhumanity.  It erases distance.

      • @KayWhitlock exactly and offers a new view into the everyday.. Sets it apart — for a minute anyway

  • Genius Child
     ~ Langston Hughes
    This is a song for the genius child.
    Sing it softly, for the song is wild.
    Sing it softly as ever you can – Lest the song get out of hand.
    Nobody loves a genius child.
    Can you love an eagle, Tame or wild?
    Can you love a monster Of frightening name?
    Nobody loves a genius child.
    Kill him – and let his soul run wild.

    • The complete version of the 2010 documentary The Radiant Child is available here —
      highly recommended

      • trashablanca

        @nancy a heitzeg Hey Nancy! Yet another fine piece. One of my favorite musicians, Michelle Shocked, wrote a powerful song about Michael Stewart 25 years ago called “Graffiti Limbo”. She maintains that Michael Stewart was strangled to death, and the coroner lost the evidence (his eyes), so the cops were found not guilty. Unfortunately, she pulled most of her stuff off youtube recently, but here is part of the song she reworked last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi-K2cDDeEU

        • trashablanca

          @nancy a heitzeg 
          Wow, she added a couple of verses that aren’t on the album::
          Lay down your burdens Lay down your cares
          The Holy Virgin, She’s gonna greet you up there
          With a big can of spray paintWith a big blank wall
          And I can guaran-damn tee ya
          There ain’t no cops around at all
          Graffiti Limbo Where do you go?
          Graffiti Limbo When there ain’t no justice
          I only speak for myself
          But the word around town
          Is that something’s shakingIn the underground
          I only speak for myself But the word on the street
          Is that the writing’s on the wall
          And the cop’s on the beat
          I wrote this song for a man named Michael Stewart
          A young black man arrested while writing graffiti
          On a subway wall in New York City
          And while under arrest,
          surrounded by eleven white transit cops
          Michael Stewart was strangled to death
          And when his case went to court
          Not one cop was found guilty
          Because the coroner lost the evidence
          You see, in order to determine
          That Michael Stewart was strangled to death
          The coroner had to use Michael Stewart’s eyeballs
          His eyes, as evidence So now when I tell you
          That it was Michael Stewart’s eyes
          That the coroner lost, do you know what I mean
          When I tell you that justice is blind?
          You can have your little Style Wars
          You can keep your little dance
          But those crazy writers
          Don’t stand a ghost of a chance
          It’s, “Color them Cons”, Mayor Koch said
          Call it a crime It’s steer clear of the engineer
          Of the midnight special line

        • @trashablanca wow — thanks for this — i had never heard this
          too true

        • @trashablanca what do you think about the  latest LAPD mess?? hard to believe anything they say

        • trashablanca

          @nancy a heitzeg I haven’t believed them for most of my life. The new CoP, Charlie Beck, is the first top LAPD cop that I actually respect and like, though. The racist LAPD culture goes bone deep, though, and isn’t going to go away anytime soon, imo.

        • @trashablanca yes back to zoot suits and past even..