Carrie Patterson, Chair
Associate Professor of Art
Phone: (240) 895-4252
Office Staff: (240) 895-4225
Alumni Where are they now?
Matthew Fishel (studio art, 2001) completed an MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. Originally interested in painting, Matthew has expanded his practice to include animation, video, installation, and digital imaging. He is a frequent contributor to RedStarKGB, an ongoing collaboration of filmmakers in Baltimore. His own film, "A Short Film Regarding Possibilities", was selected by the Maryland Film Festival in 2006. See his work at http://www.matthewfishel.com
Graffiti: Inscribing Urban Expression on New York and Los Angeles
Abstract: This project examines community-based graffiti from New York City and Los Angeles, in order to illustrate the use of graffiti as a form of urban expression and as a means of communication. Assessments of graffiti in each city, demonstrate the implementation of graffiti by urban youth subcultures. Graffiti emerged in New York during the hip-hop phenomenon of the 1970s. It provided a way in which urban youth from marginalized groups could make their voices heard and presence known. In Los Angeles, graffiti developed in the urban youth gang culture. While graffiti writers in New York intended to spread their names throughout the city using public subway trains as their backdrop, gang writers in L.A. utilized graffiti as a way to mark gang territory. Aesthetically, the styles, techniques and forms of writing in each city vary greatly. In New York, writers focused intently on cultivating an innovative and “eye catching” style to generate fame and notoriety around the city and among their peers. L.A. gang writing, in comparison to New York graffiti, appears less stylized and elaborate because the intent for writing is much different. Gang writers use graffiti as a mark of territory in their gang neighborhood for members and enemy gangs to see. It acts as a symbol of gang presence in a particular area. Addressing the aesthetic differences between New York and Los Angeles graffiti are not meant to prove one style more artistic than the other. Instead graffiti should be looked at in full context—Who are the writers and what do they represent?