“You can own half the city by scribbling your name over it.”
In Washington, D.C., the most accessible art form isn’t in the museums, it’s on the metro. And nowhere within the city’s transit system can you see more art on the walls than on the red line train between Union Station and Silver Spring. For years, the ride along this section of the red line has showcased various works done illegally by graffiti writers. Big, colorful, boisterous tags advertising the names of unknown assailants. And now, with the development of the Metropolitan-Branch Trail, an outdoor path that runs along the red line, commissioned murals have begun to emerge within this storied graffiti space.
How do everyday commuters interact with these sanctioned works of art versus those done illegally? And, what significance does graffiti have in the context of the D.C. metro? The Red Line D.C. Project is about what happens when public space, public art and public transportation intersect.