3.- Does it have to stay underground to stay true?
What does underground mean? Punk rock and hip hop are not underground. That whole mainstream vs. underground thing is a load of crap. People who whine about a thing becoming successful are just jealous. It all depends on quality and intent. If something retains its integrity and quality, people shouldn't mind if it becomes popular. Exploiting a style just because it is popular sucks, and any artist, graffiti or otherwise, shouldn't participate in a project unless it's proponents desire to understand and perpetuate the culture and perspective from which the artist comes. I have this unrealistic notion that exposure for graffiti is positive through any channel that gives positive representation, which may or may not be fashion. I think expanding acceptance of graffiti expands freedom of speech and genuinely helps democratize things for the individual in this spectator democracy. Graffiti is very liberating and that shouldn't be reserved for the cool underground. That's a selfish mentality. ~Shepard Fairey, poster, 'guerilla' artist