Despite the accomplishments of numerous women who are killing it in street art these days, there are still some people out there who identify graffiti as a dude's line of work. To combat this idea, Brooklyn-based photographer Austin McManus recently released four prints from his "Partner in Crime" photo series, which documents four women spray painting graffiti. McManus started this project after stumbling upon a photo he had taken of his friend Lauren tagging a wall for the very first time. Inspired by the image, McManus presents this project with hopes of prompting others to rethink their notions of the typical graffiti artist.
"I took the original photograph that inspired the 'Partner in Crime' series under a bridge near Yosemite National Park in California. There were layers of civilian graffiti on the wall and we decided to add some of our own. My friend Lauren had never used a spray can before and took a turn," he recalls. "I shot a few photos while she sprayed, and I didn’t look at them for another year or so. I remember vividly how wide her smile was and how ecstatic she was after doing it."
Though the first photo that inspired the series has not been included in the completed project, it became the catalyst for McManus to begin a conversation on the identity of graffiti artists in today's world. "I hope the project challenges gender-based stereotypes commonly associated with vandalism, while offering an alternative perspective on the physical act of writing graffiti," he said.
In essence, McManus seems to mean that there is no quintessential artist and that graffiti art is certainly not an art form limited to only men. Anyone—even first time experimenters—can be graffiti artists, no matter how skillful or amateur he or she may be.
Check out the four prints McManus has released on 1xRUN. You can either cop the whole set of "Partner in Crime" prints for $200 or individually for $50 each.