Monday, August 18, 2008

Girls Who Graffiti

Ariel Schrag: Cartoonist & Graffiti-dabbler
My friend Joe of Your Daily Joe recommended Awkward and Definition by Ariel Schrag since I like autobiographical chick cartoonists and all. A quote on the back of the book from the Village Voice says Schrag is "an imiaginative anthropologist of the post-punk set" and I definitely appreciate that in her. Since I grew up in a crazy Baptist cult, reading about normal teenage lives helps me understand my generation better. There's a big difference between girls who spent their time at 15 and 16 reading through the collected works of Alexander Pope and Elizabeth Barrett Browning (i.e. me) and girls (i.e. Ariel Schrag) who spent that time dabbling in drugs, sex and - the subject of this post - graffiti.

Ariel's first graffiti experience went as such (click to enlarge):
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Girls & Graffiti Around the Globe
Since I ordered Ariel's book from the library I just happened to finally get it when I'd also checked out Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents by Nicholas Ganz. Turns out that the USA was the home of graffiti and so the first female street artists started in the 70's in New York city. The trend hit South America, Australia and Europe in the mid 80's, Canada in the early 90s, New Zealand, China, Japan and South Africa in the late 90s. Of the many women featured in Ganz's book, these were my favorites:

Chez, Australia

Chour, France

Jana Joana, Brazil

Waleska, London

MyMonsters, Germany

For more on girls and graffiti, listen to the Brooklyn Museum's podcast/panel discussion about Graffiti Women:

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