Flo Joe at Miami’s Marine Stadium. (All images courtesy of James and Karla Murray.)
By now, graffiti in cities like New York and L.A. and London and Berlin has been copiously documented. Which is why it was such a treat to pick up James and Karla Murray’s Miami Graffiti, which offers a broad survey of what’s been going down on that narrow strip of concrete that sits at the edge of the Everglades. Miami’s intense sunlight and weather seem to inspire a hyper-bright tropical color palette among its artists, and the Murrays do a good job of documenting it. The book covers everything from legal walls to abandoned industrial sites to transportation overpasses.
My favorite shots, however, are the ones that incorporate a broad view of the architecture, and truly reflect the ways in which graffiti artists play off of specific structural environments. The image of the giant tag by Flo Joe, at Miami’s stunning Marine Stadium (above), an abandoned Modernist boat racing viewing stand built in 1963, is a prime example.
The Murrays have been assiduously documenting graffiti since the ’90s and have thousands of images from New York, Miami and beyond, which have been published in various tomes. I’d like to suggest the topic of their next book: one that focuses exclusively on the way that graffiti interacts with architecture. I’ll be the first geek in line to buy it.
Miami Graffiti hits bookstores this month.