Anyone who follows graffiti art in Los Angeles knows the name REVOK. He’s one of my personal favorites and I’m always psyched when I see a new piece of his around town, and point it out to friends when I see his work up big in other cities while I’m traveling. That might not be happening too much in the near future since he was arrested this weekend by the Sheriffs Dept while attending an event at the 33rd Graffiti Art Store. He’s still tweeting to some extent so I’m not sure how locked up or down he his at this point.
Now before everyone gets all up in arms and is like “it’s illegal anyway” and “about time they arrested these vandals” and whatever other tired crap will get posted in the comments I should point out that YES WE ALL KNOW IT’S ILLEGAL. And yes, this is a risk anyone who decides to be a graffiti artist takes. It doesn’t matter who agrees with it or what merits anyone thinks graffiti has, it is in fact illegal and that’s the game some have chosen to play. What is interesting to me at least, is that while at one time graffiti artists were shadowy figures whose names and faces no one knew, thanks to the internet and twitter and online communities like 55mm Los Angeles as well as a whole host of galleries helping these artists take their work from one medium to another, graffiti artists are much easier to find for anyone looking. And while it’s a safe assumption a lot of the time that law enforcement has no idea how these things work, they are starting to learn and the more out there and available people are the easier it is for a bust like this to happen.
I’m not trying to bash anyone who is high profile, I’m just saying that I think that we like to think we know who is reading and following us, but the truth is we have no idea and I think we’re going to see more of these arrests as artists continue to gain popularity and it becomes easier to predict where they will be at some point in the future. And at the same time, I don’t think we’re going to see folks like REVS behind bars anytime soon.