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Thursday, September 21, 2023


Outside the lines

Graffiti, a form of art that originated in ancient civilizations, is often looked upon a stain left behind by gang members and teenage vandals in urban communities. One group, however, is looking to erase that stain left by their infamous counterparts and show graffiti as a form of creative expression, rather than a blight on the Houston community.

Art Crimes will present The Art of Getting Up, an event featuring live graffiti by Houston-based painters including Broken Machines, Koker and the Aerosol Warfare, Friday night at The GRAB, 809 Pierce St.

A large blank wall will be on display for the painters to show off their vibrant spray-painting skills.

Aerosol Warfare, a collective of Houston graffiti artists, partner with Art Crimes and aim to gain respect for the urban art form.

Live music by a slew of local disk jockeys including Fredster, Makestapes, 7000 foot tall and Mark Gomez will accompany the graffiti art and set the tone for an evening that’s sure to keep spectators and concert-goers entertained.

"(Graffiti) is one of those things where it’s not really as easy as it looks," Daniel Holdridge, advertising junior and co-organizer of event, said. "These are really good artists, and we have some of the best that are going to be painting with us."

Holdridge, along with his crew of fellow graffiti enthusiasts, hopes to change Houston’s negative mentality toward graffiti.

"Graffiti, especially in Houston, is kind of getting a bad rap right now, so I think we’re doing this for the love and support of it," Holdridge said. "We want to support the scene and culture."

Gang-related graffiti and vandalism has caused business owners and residents to wage war over this medium and has made it hard for graffiti artists to actively show their art in public.

"It’s a really cool way of expression that people often misconstrue with gangs," Holdridge said. "I know that there are half a dozen kids who go out to Wal-Mart everyday and buy cans and spray paint on the side of buildings. There’s culture to it, and then there’s vandalism. We’re kind of showing the opposite side of it."

The Art of Getting Up will also double as a release party for Case, Houston’s newest seasonal art magazine, featuring national artists and musicians.

"(Case) is a project that we started. It’s more about artists and musicians that we enjoy," Holdridge said. "It’s really low-brow, really simplistic."

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