Artist Jay Shells says “Who it’s for is… for me. And for people like me: just other hip hop heads that would dig this project,” but I don’t think that gives the project enough credit. It’s for the emcees, as a public declaration of respect and their work’s importance. And it’s for everyone they’ve spoken for, whose lives and history have been ignored and shit on by most of the people who would have the authority to put up more “official” placards drawing attention to sites of cultural significance.
Wooster Collective is a fantastic street art blog that I’ve been digging for years. Unfortunately, their latest masthead image is some objectifying sexist nonsense. See for yourself and pop ‘em an email of displeasure—the site is almost always awesome, and I would love to see it stay that way. (Be aware that the image in question, though not all that explicit, is probably not safe for some places of work.)
I have nothing against sexual imagery—indeed, I like it very much, and think contemporary U.S. society’s condemnatory attitude toward it is one of the reasons contemporary U.S. society is fucking broken—but when attempts at sexuality in art favor dehumanizing objectification and sex- and/or gender-based oppression, rather than inclusive and sex-positive excellence, I am bummed. This is not what street art/graffiti are about—they’re about fucking freedom—and it damages the art and community as a whole.
The artist responsible for the bullshit masthead is Derek Fridman (A.K.A. Urbanmedium). The contact page on Derek’s website is here—another riled email would be appropriate.