Thanks to Gothamist, found this article.
The artists definately have a point. They have a right to artistic and creative ownership over anything that is of their own. Photographers and publishers who try and appropriate ‘street’ culture or whatever they think it is strip it of definately some of its value, diminish its effect and its origins as ‘public’, very potentially ephemeral art, by immortalising its.
I like the part where the ‘struggling artist’ calls herself (and her ‘clan’) generous and shameless self promoters. Very honest. Nice and egotistical, probably just about as much as you need to be in that environment. Publicatios that attempt to convey how certain groups ‘express’ themselves will often be doing so for their own motives, to serve their own purposes (moral, monetary, anything) rather than actually with any interest in the people who they are ethnographicising. Which is a difficult issue when sorting out cultural studies, of course, but one that needs more consideration when it occurs.
One part in particular I take issue with: that graffiti artists (and this is coming from an artist, too) are ‘accustomed to feeling this is never going to last forever. So we photograph them for our archives.’ That is what is so amazing, beautiful, and important about graffiti and public art- that it doesn’t last. That its existence is always illustrative of a transitory moment between one sense of expression and the next. It should be a tangible, yet always intangible, signifier of the liminality of human culture.