Graffiti stalking

I had an idea yesterday. I think it was a rather brilliant* idea. The problem I'm running into is with exactly how to implement it.

You see, I need a graffiti artist (or three). How does one go about finding a graffiti artist? The very nature of graffiti is the underground culture, the anonymity to the general populous, and let's face it, as cool as I think I am, I am very much the general populous. If a graffiti artist passed me on the street, they would immediately think NARC.

I was AIM friends with a graffiti artist once a few years ago. We became friends through Flickr and would chat about graffiti at random hours of the night. Besides my one failed attempt at graffiti, this was my only personal connection** to someone who actually risked their freedom for the sake of their art.

20081115 - SubGenius Devival in Baltimore - 171-7145 - graffiti

photo credit: Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos

The legality of graffiti and street art and the freedom of expression come into play. My idea is 100% legal, so there's the benefit of a jail-free session for the artist. However, is the adrenaline and the rebellion of it part of what makes a graffiti artist? Will the fact that I need more than a little artistic control of my project be a deal breaker?

Irregardless of what the answer to those questions might be, I have to try. So, we are back to my original question. How does one go about finding a graffiti artist? Hanging out in dark alleys and lonely buildings late at night isn't an option I'm willing to pursue, and hanging fliers with those little pull tabs at popular graffiti sites seems more than a little hokey. Instead, I've taken to the internet this morning and am flexing my research and social networking fingers. Tons of Baltimore graffiti lovers and stalkers (and maybe artists?) will wake up this morning with Flickr messages, YouTube comments and emails through their blogs about my search.

While I await a response, you should check out these cool pictures offered up by local artists and photographers.

Rhaps777 at the Hippodome

Dominic A. Castro

Carlos Vigil

Ironlak

*Of course, who doesn't think their own ideas are brilliant.

**I take that back. I once got my grandmother to do a bit of sticker graffiti with me. I don't lie when I say my family supports almost all of my endeavors.