Write of Passage

Since Banksy launched his month long residency on the streets of New York, his much lauded and sought after stenciled work has everyone talking about graffiti, from Mayor Bloomberg, who deems it a sign of decay and loss of control, to art students defending its legitimacy, and landlords cashing in on their Banksy enhanced properties. But according to graffiti historian Sacha Jenkins, all the buzz about the world’s most prominent graffiti artist is riddled with misconceptions.

Street Play: Going Inner City

The influx of Stella McCartney-clad hipsters in Manhattan’s Alphabet City might have appeared, back in the neighborhood’s pre-affluent era in the 80s and 90s, like poorly cast extras on the set of The Warriors. A veritable ghost town, Alphabet City, referred back then as “the wild wild west,” was a place where drug dealers defiantly engaged in public sales, boarded up buildings were converted into crack sanctuaries and echoes of crowing roosters and growling pitbulls were the daily soundtrack.