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GV2 Review
"GRAFFITI IS ONE OF THE FEW ART FORMS THAT has few socioeconomic or ethnic barriers," says Bruin, one of the many graf artists to voice his thoughts in the new documentary GV2: Freedom of ExpreSSion?  GV2 is the sequel to Bob Bryan's critically acclaimed Graffiti Verite', the film that recorded the viewpoints of artists from perhaps the most marginal element of hip-hop, graffiti.

These artists' thoughts are often seen but seldom heard.  In GV2, Bryan expands the perspective to include the views of not only LA writers such as Chaz, Skill, Vyal and Slick but also New York legends Mare 139 and Haze.

In the film, Mare, a self-proclaimed "Wildstyle" artist, recalls a defining moment in his life, his first glimpse of a "top-to-bottom whole car" by legendary Lee.  Haze, who is now a successful graphic artist and clothing company owner, rails against the "no sell out" mentality he feels limits artists from profiting from their talent. "If you have skills and you're putting in work, you should find a way to get paid," says Haze.

Chaz, an eloquent spokesman for graffiti  says " We're not just tagging the walls, we want to tag the minds.  The world is our canvas." Chaz, an art school graduate, won the First International Graffiti Art Competition.

The verite' aspect of GV2 is evident in the way that Bryan allows his subjects to say their peace without censorship or positioning quotes.  While the film lacks explanation for non-aerosol heads, GV2: Freedom of ExpreSSion? is a stunning look at the hip-hop subculture that has developed a lifestyle and movement of its own.

Eric K. Arnold
Updated - December 16, 1998
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