New York city graffiti artist AVONE was arrested on February 23. He is being held at the GMDC ward at Riker’s Island. Supporters are trying to raise $4,000 bail to set him free while awaiting his trial.
While creating on an alley wall in Greenwich Village, he was tackled by two apparent locals who wrestled him to the ground. According to AVONE, a passing police cruiser stopped and arrested him on the spot with few questions.
This isn’t the first time AVONE has come up against the anti-graffiti forces of NYC. He is considered by some to be number one of the most wanted graffiti writers of New York, which might explain why there were so few questions asked by the police at the time of his arrest.
To see some of AVONE’s work, go here.
Ironically, also last month, a billboard went up at Bleecker and Lafayette in nearby NoHo using the artwork of graffiti artist Neck Face to sell skateboard clothing and shoes. A few years ago, Neck Face caused a ruckus by prolifically tagging his name and distinctive work on New York walls, street signs and mailboxes. His work quickly went mainstream. He was celebrated in the New Yorker and had gallery shows in London and Los Angeles. Now, he’s on billboards. AVONE’s crime, painting an alley wall, seems so much less a crime than a giant corporate billboard selling mass produced sneakers — talk about a trespass of public space.
Maybe Neck Face will pony up the bail money for AVONE, if anyone knows how to reach him.
To see the Neck Face billboard, go here.