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Grafitti has been around since man could paint the inside of a cave wall and will continue to tell our collective story in public space until the lights go out.
The plastering of identitty, poltical message and art on buildings and walls has become de rigeur for the urban experience, evoking curiosity, anger, disgust and awe. It polarizes and that's what it is supposed to do.
Two filmakers, Nate Wollman and Max Vigilante spebt over a year tracking down a figure called, "The Silver Buff" aka Jim Sharp as he roamed the streets of Berkeley in the early morning hours spraying silver streaks over fresh grafitti, removing public notices and even pulling weeds. Sharp is sharply critical of grafitti and yet, he also traffics in his own, very public form of expression. Wollman and Vigilante confront him over his obsessive and conflicted mission.
But Sharp is far from alone. Wollman and Vigilante also track down career buffers, Fred Radtke and Joe Connolly in New Orleans and LA to understand the men and the mindset behind vigilante buffing.
What ensues is a fascinating document on freedom of expression, the clash between order and chaos and the notion of art and esthetics.
I interviewed Vigilante about the film and we tackle some of these issues over the course of forty-five-minutes.
You can download and watch "Viglinate, Vigilnate" online by simply going to the film's website.
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It's good to talk.