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Graffiti Art Exhibit Looks at City's Mark on Movement

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Graffiti is moving from the street to the museum.

An exhibit of graffiti art is set to open Tuesday at the Museum of the City of New York.

The pieces come from the collection of Martin Wong, who donated the art to the museum in 1994.

Most of the works featured are from the 1970s and 80s.

While graffiti as art is a controversial idea, the museum says the art being shown is completely legal.

"What we're showing basically is material that was made not on the streets but for an artistic application. Most of the work is on canvas, and it's made consciously as art. So this is the legitimate side of graffiti," said Curator Sean Corcoran.

"We took it from the subway trains onto the gallery walls and now it has become the biggest art movement the world has ever seen," said Artist Lady Pink.

While many of the artists were breaking the law to make their statement when it all started, Corcoran says the results wound up being a major cultural movement born out of the city but impacting the entire world.

"We see it in visual culture, in fashion, right up to this very moment," Corcoran said.

"Many movements have been very controversial since day one and then they were embraced 30, 50 years later, and people saw the writing on the wall, the fine print on the wall," said Artist Lee Quinones.

The exhibit features nearly 150 works by a number of notable graffiti artists and will run until August 24th.

For more information, visit mcny.org.

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