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  • ICAA Record ID
    842634
    AUTHOR
    Martinez, Hugo, 1923-
    TITLE
    A brief background of graffiti / Hugo Martínez
    IN
    United Graffiti Artists. -- New York, USA : United Graffiti Writers, 1975
    LANGUAGES
    English
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Martínez, Hugo. "A brief background of graffiti." In United Graffiti Artists. Exh. cat., New York, USA: United Graffiti Writers, 1975.
    TOPIC DESCRIPTORS
    NAME DESCRIPTORS
    United Graffiti Artists
    GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

In this essay, Hugo Martinez chronicles the formation of United Graffiti Artists, a collective of New York City graffiti artists. Analyzing the graffiti scene from a sociological perspective, Martinez reports that the majority of graffiti artists in that city were Puerto Rican and African American adolescents from working class backgrounds. Although not trained as an artist, Martinez saw artistic potential in graffiti and writes that he saw the need to establish graffiti as a vanguard art movement, thus preserving the work on legitimate surfaces. To that end, he began inviting artists to use art studios at City College and transfer their designs to canvas. In 1972, the gatherings at City College evolved into the collective, United Graffiti Artists. Martinez, who wrote the essay to commemorate the first formal exhibition of graffiti art on canvas at Artist Space, in 1975, concludes by stating that the power of the works on display can speak for itself.

Annotations

Hugo Martinez wrote “A Brief Background on Graffiti” to commemorate the first formal exhibition of the United Graffiti Artists at Artist Space, a well regarded gallery in New York City. The event is considered a milestone in the history of the graffiti art movement in the city. Hugo Martinez continues to organize shows of graffiti art in New York.

Researcher
Yasmin Ramirez