Lady Pink is a New York based mural artist who began writing graffiti in 1979 on the edge of hip-hop urban movement. She gained notoriety as the first female to write graffiti within a male milieu of vandals and later respected as an accomplished mural and fine art painter. Born Sandra Fabara in Equador in 1964, she was raised in Queens from the age of seven.. She has successfully tranformed her career path from graffiti vandalism to a mainstream legitimate mural company. Pink has also painted on canvas and her work has been exposed in the Whitney, Metropolitan and Brooklyn Museums in New York.
The genre of mural art and the graffiti art that preceded it recalls communications theorist Marshall McCluhan and his media theories that the art itself and the medium,(subways, walls and freight trains in this case) will adapt to the people that look at it and vice versa.The medium of mural art , independent of whats painted, will have a power of persuasion on popular culture. The question is what does the art of Lady Pink and others imply about the wider society at which it is aimed?
In the case of Lady Pink , the engaging leftist, provocative NYC style , would according to McCluhan, have the same effect on society whether or not a painted subway car depicted crooked govermement or an idyllic English landscape. McCluhan postulated that the content of ( artistic representation) has little effect on society. That is, if television only showed children’s programming or exclusively violent crime, the effect of t.v. on society would be identical. The effect on the cognitive senses is the platform of delivery and not the representation therof which would certainly limit the role of programming and the ego-centricities surrounding its creation.
The painted subway cars and illegal murals were new and novel mediums that had particular characteristics to engage the viewer. Like anything new, whether the printed word or radio, there is a new awareness and cognitive shift. This phenomenon and concomittant emotion of fear metaphored as “cultural anarchy” was probably overiding to the legalistic claim of vandalism to public property. Then, according to McCluhan , the form ( graffiti art) “overheats” and reverts to an opposing pre-existform , in this case canvasses that can be exposed within the accepted art establishment.
For Lady Pink, She has become ardently opposed to graffiti. According to an article in the Queen’s Tribune: ” You can’t give them a legal wall, said Pink of vandals, or ”bombers”, “They’re not interested. They’re more interested in the aspect of breaking the law, being vandals and being rebellious. They don’t have the skills for it or the desire to paint something in the daytime” and ” It’s really upsetting to me that people would need to write their name over and over again in public space. It’s this culture of fame”. Again, according to McCluhan, the moral judgement is as irrelevent as the content.