Mural Retro

Seems most folks around here still haven’t wrapped their heads around the notion of graffiti as art. In a land where the sand-colored wall is the signature contribution to design, graf’s considered little more than blight. So props to the Phoenix Art Museum for seeing the writing on the wall and helping to guide urban art’s slow emergence into the mainstream. In conjunction with its current exhibit “Graffiti Art and Fashion,” the museum will screen TATS CRU: The Mural Kings, a documentary about Bronx muralists who want to show us that graffiti transcends vandalism. Twenty-four years ago, TATS (Top Artistic Talent) CRU started as three teens with a penchant for spray-painting New York subway cars. The film follows the young aerosol artists as they receive recognition and slowly grow a successful graffiti business -- they’ve since added an “Inc.” to the TATS CRU name -- whose murals now appear in hospitals, schools, and public buildings all over New York. Even the Smithsonian Institute has recognized the crew for its contribution to American folk art. Now it’s our turn.
Sun., Oct. 21, 1 p.m., 2007
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Jay Bennett
Contact: Jay Bennett