One of the many reasons that I love the internet is that it gives you access to pop culture gems that’d otherwise be stuck in an archive somewhere. For a case in point check out this piece by American essayist/novelist/playwright/literary heavyweight about the birth of the graffiti movement, commissioned by Esquire Magazine in 1974.
Mailer takes an intellectual route (not surprisingly), placing the works of early pioneers like Junior 161 and StayHigh 149 alongside the works of Cezanne and Gauguin. It’s a long read, but definitely worth persisting with. Particularly interesting hearing the early guys dismissing style over legibility given how far the movement has come.
Check out the whole story in glorious high res scans over at Test Pressing.