The main character, Nick, AKA “Rupture,” a graffiti
artist, is a loner. His artistic tagging gets him in trouble
with the law in Portland, Oregon, so he moves to Seattle, where
he meets Jesse, AKA, “Flip,” another tagger.
Throughout the film, the boys create towering murals in a process
that demonstrates how united they are. The main characters develop
a relationship with each other that is portrayed with minimum
Beneath this simple story, the director, James Bolton, makes
a political point. The film is set in Oregon, a state that enforces
a mandatory jail sentence for graffiti. Bolton’s cinematic
artistry goes deep into the consciousness of the “tagger” and
graffiti artist subculture.
The issues the two boys have with each other are never confronted
because the movie is less about their relationship, and more
about the great artist Nick
is, and to what limits he will go to practice it
The Graffiti Artist is a great film to see. The film tells
its story not with narration or dialogue, but through the
emotional intimacy of the protagonists.
Nick does what most people would love to do; he lives without compromises,
even though he has to pay an enormous price for this freedom. He goes to
he sleeps on the streets. He shows that a self-determined life is possible
and refuses to adapt to common social structures and strictures.
The two lead actors Rubie Snellman (Nick) and Pepper Fajans
gave convincing and sensitive performances that were heightened
by an excellent soundtrack,
Like the graffiti the two boys produce, the film may not
be for everyone, but for anyone who is open-minded and
curious about the relationship of
to his work; this film is not to be missed.