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Jordan Graham/MEDILL

One of Coop Image's murals sits at the corner of California Avenue and Division Street.

Chicago graffiti: Blasters vs. taggers

by Jordan Graham
March 03, 2010

Jordan Graham/MEDILL

Jordan Graham/MEDILL

Two weeks ago graffiti artists sprawled their mark across a 50-foot brick wall of a Gold Coast house.  A week later taggers sprayed a similarly sized piece on the east wall of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

The two recent high profile acts of graffiti in Chicago have again stirred up the debate: Is graffiti art or vandalism?  Matt Smith, head of Chicago’s Graffiti Blasters removal program, and Mike Bancroft, a graffiti artist who runs an art center for children in Humboldt Park, talk aboaut their views.