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October 30, 2008

Graffiti Decor

-3 Most often associated with underground counterculture, graffiti conjures up scenes of back alleys, subway trains and gritty urban life. Scrawled onto public walls and private properties, appreciation for graffiti as an art form is a highly debated issue. And while graffiti writing dates back several centuries, in recent years the debate has been heating up, as the line between high and low art becomes blurred. Is graffiti décor or debauchery?

Whichever it is, some people pay a lot of money for it. According to the International Herald Tribune, last February a stencil called “Moona List,” by the British street Artist Nick Walker showing the subject baring her bottom, sold for £54,000, or $106,000, at a Bonhams London contemporary art auction, more than 10 times the top end of its pre-auction estimate. And in March, a bronze rat by Banksy, another British street artist, sold for $169,000 at a Sotheby’s contemporary art sale in New York.

If you are inclined toward the argument for graffiti as art, you’re in luck! Today, there are graffiti-patterned fabrics and throw pillows with graffiti-like scrawlings in bright saturated colors, hovering UFOs and counterculture cartoon characters.

Studio Italia Design – an Italian Lighting company – has created the Graffiti Collection to help you make an ultra-sophisticated ‘graffiti-as-art’ statement in your home, office, or wherever else you want to impart a decidedly urban flair. Available as a sconce, pendant, table and floor lamp, the Graffiti fixtures are composed of hand-blown glass featuring white or black sketching. Each fixture is hand-crafted at the company’s factory in Venice, Italy and results in an industrial-chic look that doesn’t give off a warehouse vibe.

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