Oakland has a long tradition of vibrant graffiti, street art and artists. In December 2012, City Council passed an anti-graffiti ordinance adding increasing fines and penalties for graffiti. [source]
As a matter of general importance, graffiti not only causes aesthetic and security concerns, but it pollutes the air we breath and harms our health. Source It is especially relevant in Oakland due to frequent graffiti incidents. Chemicals used in paint used by graffiti vandals, paint to cover up vandalism and cleaning chemicals emit considerable amounts of volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere. The cycle of applying graffiti and restoring the surface to the same conditions emits the same amount of HCs/VOCs as an ordinary car does in several hundred miles of driving per can of graffiti spray paint.
VOCs react in the atmosphere and forms ozone in the air we breath which is harmful to our health, especially those with asthma. Source
In October, 2013, there has been a stir in the media that muralists are "extorting" business owners to paint murals on the sides of their businesses to prevent tagging. Others say this is a new white thing coming to historically black neighborhoods.
2013-10-30:Some Oakland Residents Getting New Murals To Cover Graffiti CBS
2013-10-25:Graffiti battle in West Oakland has racial edge Matthew Artz, Oakland Tribune
2013-10-28: Extortion or art: Oakland grapples with graffiti Matthew Artz, Oakland Tribune
Historical Graffiti Artists
Current Graffiti Artists
Fatcap keeps a current list and gallery of Oakland artists. Among these are:
- Eddie Colla, who can often be seen at local farmer's markets and whose iconic stencils and wheatpastes are recognizable around Oakland.
- Safety First
- Ras Terms
- GATS (graffiti against the systems)
- Jim Sharp
- Tom Bates
- Calvin Coolidge