TABLE OF CONTENTS

CREAM OF WHEAT PASTE: COST AND REVS

I REMEMBER THE DAYS WHEN a subway train illegally painted by Lee Quinones would roll into a station and the people on the platform would spontaneously applaud. I remember artists like Lee, Zephyr, Futura 2000, Lady Pink, Crash, Daze, SAMO© (aka Jean-Michel Basquiat), and Keith Haring putting art out on the street for free. But graffiti isn’t what it used to be. Style is all but gone, and this outlaw practice, once a field of ambition, daring, rebellion, and improvisation, has largely reverted to a form of unconscious egoism and conformist vandalism.

There are still a few sparks of unauthorized public art out there, though.

I think I might have noticed Cost and Revs at the beginning of their careers—I remember seeing some of those conventioneer stickers that say “Hello My Name Is” around town with their tags markered on. But I didn’t really latch on to them. I really noticed them a year or

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.