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Subway graffiti

A primary target for graffiti in urban environments are subway trains. This is especially true for New York City, where "going all city" is considered the holy grail. This phrase means to have your tag inside and outside on a train running each of the many lines of the NYC subway system. Would-be taggers will be hard pressed to paint the modern NYC subway, however: Mayor Giuliani's aggressive "Broken Window" approach to policing the city has all but eliminated subway graffiti. The Mayor's Anti-Graffiti Task Force has more details.

Different names serve to describe different formats of subway graffiti.

  • Panel piece (below the windows from door to door)
  • coverall (entire side, windows included).
  • whole trains (entire train segments, usually of between 8 to 10 train cars)
  • whole cars (entire side, windows included)
  • top-to-bottoms (from the top to the bottom of a car)
Many instances of this type of artwork can be seen in the movie Style Wars, in the documentary titled Bombing by Afrikaa Bambaataa, and in the book Subway Art by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant.
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