Buket's "101 FREEWAY" video

Internet Paints Graffiti in New Light

May 30, 2008 11:35 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The arrest of a Los Angeles graffiti artist who became an Internet sensation through his YouTube videos illustrates the way in which the Internet has widened the reach of the practice.

30-Second Summary

Cyrus Yazdani, better known by his graffiti bombing tag Buket, was arrested on Tuesday, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Authorities first heard of Yazdani through video-sharing Web site YouTube, where viral videos show the 24-year-old convention planner spray-painting his name on the side of a freeway and a public bus.

Authorities say that Yazdani’s videos are part of a larger trend whereby tech-savvy vandals are using the Web to compete with each other and advertise their work.

"The whole reason they do this is for the not only for the thrill but for exposure, for the recognition by other taggers," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Devin Vanderlaan. "Now, by taking pictures or video, their homies don't have to walk, drive or take the bus to see their tags. They go online."

Since his arrest, Yazdani's videos have received even more hits.

Graffiti, once considered by most to be worthless vandalism, has started to gain legitimacy as it becomes more widespread.

The New York Times recently profiled graffiti artist Steve Powers, who started out illegally painting storefront grates with the tag ESPO but now shows his work in galleries and museums.

"Social networking sites and the Internet have helped spread every culture and subculture to every nook and cranny possible and graffiti is no exception," says Roger Gastman, who has written several books on graffiti tagging, in the Los Angeles Times.

Headline Link: Internet gives graffiti vandals a global audience

Related Topics: From the streets to the gallery

Background: Art or vandalism?

Video: Buket freeway bombing

Reference: Graffiti on the Internet


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