In just about every movie set in New York City in the 1970s and 80s there’s an establishing shot with a graffiti-covered subway. For city officials, train graffiti was a sign that they had lost control. So, starting in the … Continue reading →
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is ninety nine percent, invisible, I'm roman Mars, I grew up mainly in Ohio in the eighties I only knew about New York City from the movies and all them these every single one of them had this one establishing shot had said audience, We are in New York City. It was feeding covered, subway beautiful for me as a german get from Ohio. That graffiti was exciting, but it didn't seem artists complicated. It was just scary, hooliganism, educators the graffiti was a total mystery to me to pressure and have remained in the browser. Also far far from New York City, it was like technic Hi you doin Z. Going back to front
these intersecting lines and colors I mean I knew that they were letters. I just never knew what they said: Ferko was another planet in graffiti its language. Twenty six that is to the alphabet. Somehow the free riders manipulated there's an austrian Put so cool on the outside, but inside was a whole other story. You would not have got none that subway the place play for. I smelled they were doing The floor is stuck to the floor and you got stuck in the tunnels and the car filled up with small and I made it was scary place to be in the nineteen seventies and eighties says this guy David done. Then work city. Subway was like some kind of Don T in Hell and fire and bloodshed and gangs. There was.
Finally, a sense that you notice the subways were totally The by wild gangs of teenagers and kind of work now you barbers out there now that amongst the gangs and were the rogues programmers he rifts favorite, the baseball furies and, of course, the war So what you did everything inside? I want everybody to know the warriors. Were there Artist, Caleb kneel and wields mean spray can himself, but even he admits Graffiti was simply just a symbol that the city had lost, control and as a symbol that who knew the future, lay with cities. It could be terrible, nothing pisses people off more than writing. They can't read so starting in the early seventys. The mayors of New York City vowed to eradicate graffiti first mere John Lindsey keep
office. It really like one of the worst times for any New York Mare, Lindsey forms the first anti graffiti task force and he turned graffiti from a nuisance, took it out of the category of littering or so like that into a crime into being a misdemeanor, but subway did he persisted. It was problems that wouldn't go away for two. Decades. The metropolitan transportation Authority also known as the emptier failed misery trying to fix its graffiti problem, sometimes laughably like the time they decide to repaint seven thousand subway cars, all white. They called it the great white fleet Oddly, what the graffiti movement needed at that time was new real estate and then before you knew it, you have the entire subway car covered in Spain
and there was a gauchos Berlin Wall method. Carter doubled up offences in the art of em top with razor were thus creating a no man's land between them plus attack dogs here's miracles, but I say you're, too and have the dog run between the two fences and that will keep people out and protect the dog from stepping on the third rail and the response was well. Maybe somebody to climb over the fence and the door will might them. I said. Well, I thought that's what the dog was for. Raise your word. Topped fences, rather Darlin shepherds worked until the graffiti writers realise that they could distract the dogs with food and cut through the fences. Desperate people take desperate measures and the train. Officials were desperate No one knew what to do. Ella David Gun, David Gun, and those present
the New York City Transit Authority for six years from nineteen, eighty four and ninety nine. If transit systems had halls of fame, David Gun would be right up in front David Gun, cleaned up, subways in Boston, Philly DC and Toronto. Hey I'm track for awhile to pc in principle, but when it came to New York, city and nineteen, eighty four, my initial reaction was now because it was just look to be a hopeless. Situation, guns, actual words or suicide mission but then his mother stepped in at that point. And our aid is. She said you better take that our Europe Everybody all think you're a coward moms. He galloped bonds
gonna, hit the ground running with something he called Mcqueen TRAIN programmes, but he says you're gonna be cleaned up cars tat. We did. We got their cars clean, but we also recognise the clean train became a symbolic of the fact that the thing and here is the difference between you and me, and the gun when we see graffiti, we think about in terms of aesthetics. We may like eight or hate it, but we are reacting to it. Visually David gone, some right past all of those wild style letters and sees a transit system not doing its job graffiti. You got bad language because. Having equipment clean, is part of maintenance. For decades. People in charge treated subway graffiti, like it was a sanitation problem gun says: that's all wrong: it wasn't just a sanitation problem. It was some
else entirely gun says the root of the problem was empty, is deferred maintenance programme. In the seventies New York City was broke and the city pays for a big chunk of the transit authorities operating budget. He asked the empty aid to reduce its budget because fewer people writing the subways volume to it made the worst decision they cut back. The things that kept the subways running routine inspections, replacing parts even subway mechanics and we expect to happen, happened the subway. Deteriorated. Breakdowns tripled trains derailed nearly every two weeks and get this Eighteen, eighty one there were eighteen hundred subway car fires. Eighteen hundred readership, should go down when there's eighteen hundred fires, no wonder and David Gun called running the anti a suicide mission still took it on fur
he hired fifteen hundred Non union managers and increase repair staff. He rebuild thousands of cars, their new control cases rebuild trucks, new motors air, compressors, motor alternator alternated yard. Here's the thing about maintenance. It's not sexy. It takes years to see improvements, good news, people needed to see something now or in this case nazi something. My approach was to drive the bastards out and clean up the mess that made an fixer equipment and we gradually dry the little bastard into a corner by little bastards. If it's not obvious, gun meant, everyone, vandalized trains and here's how we did it. He figured out a way to do it systemically line by line again. That's artist, scale of human life. A line or the one line, or the two line, taking with seven line off the map for four graffiti writers
While there are fixing it, they didn't allow any graffiti on it zero and if graffiti aren't bond to train car bombed in this case means covering the outside of the train with graffiti. If an hour manage that the empty eight pulled it the system, even during rush hour, was tough first area one one day and people knew it because they could see it. Gonna achieved the impossible. He got rid of because they could see it, we the impossible. He got room Graffiti on New York City, subways there, even an official date may twelfth Nineteen. Eighty nine people remember the v day day you this, like their greatest generation moment for the pain, ran subway system, the saucy. Now this was at the time when they were declaring victory. The train, already. Authority held a ceremony that that it was the three job
at the end of the eight train, all of the empty brass and a lot of employees. Were there a mirror. Was there to privately. I kidded him the fact that I never thought it. You and he said I was right- had they even made commemorative tee shirts, they were read. I had the day the old New York city, parental authority logo on online down below it had graffiti free in the day, but I work for years it's funny now to read the subway and imagine that there ever was so much graffiti. I mean I've lived in New York for almost ten years now and no group, he covered subway has ever pulled up to my stop. I always wondered where the preceding go. I thought the answer might be more complex, but this time, for once the answer is simple: you can pull to a man, David Gun. Begun to think. Like a lot of new Yorkers. Was this in a way
they coming into to fix the subway system and to graffiti writers. He was this Darth Vader Character and took away their fun and ultimately was better taking away their fun, then they were at sustaining it made of nineteen. Eighty nine, the day subway graffiti died, Although the story is not over are feeding didn't actually, and that day still subway graffiti, but because of David Guns Clean train programme, it's almost become impossible us on the outside to see it almost never leaves the train yards. Emptying crews the troll their constantly looking for graffiti and imposing it off with these crazy solvents. If they see any They see it an internet, don't gallery of it, in fact,
the kid from Munich would go pay in some ways. In Paris the kitten in Paris would go pace ways in Amsterdam Graffiti writers today, I kind of like sand collectors heading the balloons, Dubai, Paris, Metro and the London tube to put into their album collections are judged by two things: size and value: the subway Phoebe Completest would have to hit one hundred and ninety systems in fifty four countries, for value there's only one that matters There is a real way of thinking came graffiti, which I don't they is entirely wrong, which says- you're, not a real writer. Until you got your piece on any subway kind of like the, Billy growl of all train sooner right now, spray painting, a New York Subway car is a felony. If painters get caught it could mean jail time and thousands of dollars in fides graffiti artists have to ask themselves, is it's worth it, I'm pretty
I was talking on the MAX Van Ryan Ivan about it because you know it's. It's really something that people like Great Japan, the somewhere, that's that's very nice. Thank you for doing and stood China. This is job or at least that's what he wanted me to call him Joe, is a graffiti artists, from South Africa. He had trained some countries around the world I didn't want to say. If he was going to hit New York a figure, you get a cancer Nor must we- distorted Jos boys to protect his identity. That's the only way that he would agree to talk to us Jos, never been caught, but it's been close. I've looked seen a flashlight and turned around to tell the guy that someone is coming for us and when I turned around these already like run we actually quarter? guys from Australia just last week who try to breach our security and go into a yacht. And now Vincent De Moreno he's the vice president
of security for the emptier in New York City Transit, easy guy. From all over the world and New York's train yards de Marino didn't have hard numbers of who gets caught from where in the yards, but when a train, gets hit in New York, Phoebe artist is more likely to be from Say, Spain or France, not from New York, some are put the ratio at something like eighty, twenty, the international fault. Because I'm a lot of money to do you know about me, on a plane. I guess sit on the beach, I wouldn't mind: airplane The goal commit a crime then a train yard graffiti. Just say: that's part of the draws its arise to break the law. Wanna get over this fence charter, That's exciting at first, you know when you go inside to the yard. You stand on the floor, not on the platform, and you see how big this train really is. I me, when you're on the platform and train the train when you on the floor next to it, it's like black iron beast and I love it.
With a smile and the sound so much more intense, because you're ready like super nervous, look was common at you. What is it there's not much that could be better than sex. Better than money better than anything, it's it's like. Does our people do it? That's why someone redress career life to press the planet on the spray cats colours and training in the European Doin sunlight. Why New York doing it light. This weight is fronded. Where was built that, like I see no one, when the train back this see tee aspirin. See easy enough habitable that of city. The same theme is the train, if you don't get it city me. He always feels like an old soul, but I call on the romantic. Seated on the trains, and I think a boy I like I am, I time see tee
bombed, not one but two trains this year. The first was the our train, it was a spy versus spy theme. It took about in Cannes in an hour to paint, but days and days of preparation, I study these lines the times I'd stay down to the workers, because if you can find busy work on one day. Eight, you could do a lot of stuff in this empty You have a lot of these workers. A mission and here's what I see Tee and David Gun together, both men, We had to hold the plan, I recall mission but I see Tee and David Gun together both men, a lot of time scrutinising the weak points in the anterior system. City dreams of bringing back in New York Subway graffiti. Let them kids are rapidly declining in two thousand and seven there were. Seventy five yard hits so far this year, only nine p M
Please forest can take some credit for those numbers, but there is another factor. I find it hard to think of coffee. He writers, who were much under twenty five and alive The most active people that I know are in their forties. Honestly, graffiti, is an art form may just age out at some point and if subway, graffiti, did die out. How would we even know the artist know that their work will never be seen by the public at large? They break into the train yard, painter, murals and immediately after the subway cars are scrubbed clean by anti workers. The art form is totally ephemeral. It reminds me of those Tibetans. Sandman dollars made to disappear if you begin Stop was gone forever is not every day. You do, turn it just one day pretty much. All that keeps that from happening. Right now is social media. There are invitation, only instrument accounts were subway bombers post their work before it disappeared.
Painted trains that crossed this means on countless establishing shots of dirty work city in eighteen, seventy years just a little square on your smartphone and The time you see them, they're already gone, my love is the trains is always gonna be traced to the casket drop, is always gonna, be Oh yeah, that's about until then. Ask it drops, or until the Nypd enter graffiti unit called the vandals squad catches up to you, which is what happened to see tee. He was arrest. In charge with more than one hundred and eighty misdemeanor accounts for things like possession of a graffiti instrument and intention to damage property along with some felony charges. He took a bleeding.
Agreed to pay nearly nineteen thousand dollars and restitution charges and is probation in any nine percent and as always produce this week by an have remained with help from doing a barn, Roby, Flores, SAM Greenspan, Katy mingle. Every problem in an me, roman Mars, we are
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-15.