By Rachel Koper – AustinChronicle.com – Image: ATX Mural, mid-Nineties.
“Piecing It Together: Austin Graffiti Art 1984-2004” opens Jan. 24 at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center. In stark contrast to the venue, the artists featured in the show have short names: Sae, Rage, Reks, Jibs, Wake. But those names loom large when you talk about graffiti in Austin. Painted over and over again in seemingly endless variations of color and form, the names established this form of public visual expression in Austin, Texas. They started back in the Eighties, when the movies Wild Style, Beat Street, and Breakin’ struck diverse chords in young people, as did the emergence of skateboarding, punk posters, and gangs in popular culture.