mural projects increase an area’s economic activity and have been used by cities to activate certain spaces, but unfortunately, also expedite the gentrification process (Gilmore, 2013; SF StreetSmARTs, 2009; Zukin and Braslow, 2011). Within the last ten years, there has been a worldwide evolution of graffiti that has also been explored as researchers attempt to clearly define these new emerging forms of urban art (Carlo et al, 2010). For one, many artists are taking their art out of the public realm, and into abandoned buildings where they have more privacy and time to devote to their pieces (Besser, 2010; Romanywg, 2011). In addition, traditional community murals are evolving into large-scale multi story murals designed and painted by single artists or collaborative crews-- usually commissioned by galleries or art organizations (Besser, 2010). Within the last ten years, street art has also become mainstream, causing much critique from the graffiti community (EZ, 2007; Lush, 2013), but also forcing artists to innovate to stay unique (Deitch, 2010). With these emerging new forms of legal and illegal independent public art, cities must re-examine their policies to make sure they reflect and address the realities of the streets. This paper interviews artists to explore how they interact with walls when producing their artwork, ranging from traditional muralists, taggers, wheatpasters, chalk artists, and everything in between. This method has been used for assessing graffiti prevention methods through interviews with hip-hop graffiti writers, but never for assessing the implications of policies within the perspective of this new emerging form of illegal/legal public art. MethodologyResearch Design The sites used in this study were San Francisco, California, and Berlin, Germany. An international study was chosen due to graffiti’s ubiquitous nature; even though this movement started in New York City, its norms and styles have spread throughout the world. By looking at two different countries, unique cultural and historic factors can be highlighted that affect this global movement with consistent core characteristics. These results will be more interesting and telling than a domestic study where the history, culture, and approaches to regulating graffiti/street art may be consistent and similar. San Francisco was selected due to the San Francisco Art Commission’s proactive and well-funded graffiti/street art policies. It commissions murals to support local artists, sponsors art education programs, and links business owners and artists to prevent tagging. The study explores how effective these policies are, and how they impact San Francisco writers. Berlin, on the other hand, has no such programs, and is relatively poor (Dempsey, 2005). Despite little government financial support, the city has a huge art scene and draws many artists to come and live there
Ma’ayan Dembo7 (Tzortzis, 2012). Berlin also has a huge youth population, creating the conditions ideal for the graffiti/ street art youth movement.