Atlanta, Georgia woke up today to find Krog Street Tunnel, perhaps the city's most famous location for graffiti, painted over with a dull gray. Was it censorship by the man, a crack-down on people's self-expression? Nope, it was anti-profit protesters.
This weekend is a masquerade ball that's open to the public, but tickets cost $50-$100 dollars. Graffiti artists "staged the protest because they said they were offended by how the party planners were using their art as a backdrop," according to a local news station.
"We're not going to give away this art for free to somebody who is trying to make money off of it. Street art, public art, should be free for all. it shouldn't be privatized," an unnamed organizer told another local station.
An street artist who goes by "Catlanta" wrote a snarky Facebook post:
The Krog Masquerade hopes to bring out the art loving residents of Atlanta to the Krog Street Tunnel on Saturday. We had a similar takeover of the tunnel last night with impassioned Atlanta arts lovers, and all of the sudden, their whole crew is throwing shade our way. What gives, brah? You love our art, but don't want to listen to our opinions?
To what extent Catlanta, who sometimes uses copyrighted characters in his art, is opposed to private enterprise is questionable. He gives away some art for free, but he sells some, too. And he's leveraged the public display of his art for enough fame to work with the Ted Talk organization.
One of the only pieces of writing on the wall this morning was "#KrogIsNotForSale."
Also the organizers of the Krog Masquerade state on their website:
A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Georgia Lawyers for the Arts – a nonprofit organization that provides legal assistance and educational programming to artists, arts organizations and the Georgia Foundation for Public Spaces. This enables us to provide financial scholarships, awards, educational programs, tools for artists as well as maintain sponsorships for our various events.
Residents and fans of the iconic tunnel have taken to social media to express their thoughts. Some think the act was empowering to the artist-protesters, others think they cut off their noses to spite their faces.