Theory Has It

Broken Window Theory Co.

Theory Has It

We were two 22 year old graff artists. We were studying at GA state, working valet & flippin’ burgers after school, and painting the town red at night. The weekends were for making money all day and partying all night. We thought we were invincible. We were certain our good looks and creativity would keep us from workin the dreaded 9-5 after college. One night after a few cold ones we ripped open a screen printing kit that had been collecting dust on a shelf for several years. The journey had begun.

Our good looks and creativity were sure to reap some reward for us in the near future, preventing us from ever having to endure the 9 to 5 lifestyle we so dreaded. Feeling ambitious after a couple beers, we ripped open a screen printing kit that had been collecting dust on a shelf. The years that were to follow would be some of our best.

We quickly ruined the screen from the kit and were faced with the decision to quit or move forward. Armed with 40 dollars each, We marched into the Sam Flax on Northside Drive on a hot Atlanta summer day to purchase the most basic screen printing supplies. On our way back to Decatur, the ‘89 town car overheated in the 100+ degrees. So we did what any smart Atlantan would do - pulled into the Publix on Ponce for a jug of sweet tea and a box of fried chicken. We consumed the southern delicacy on the hood of the car, watching traffic worsen as we discussed our plans for screen printing. Worst case scenario, we hate it and quit. Best case scenario, we have a new hobby.

Broken Window Theory

Atlanta was experiencing growing pains. The 2008 financial crisis left its mark on the city with abandoned buildings and railroad tracks, unfinished construction, and crumbling warehouses. These were the perfect breeding ground for a graffiti revolution that rivaled the late 90s early 2000s scene. In response to the movement, Atlanta instituted a graffiti task force. Doors were kicked in, arrests made, and the local news media went crazy over it.

Simultaneously, a thriving (legal) mural scene was taking hold of the streets and capturing Atlantans hearts. Graff artists were less than amused with street artists and didn’t take kindly to sacred walls adorned with legal, paid, art on walls. But the street art movement in Atlanta did not slow down and today the city has few walls without a mural.

Three forces intertwined: the law, street art, and graffiti. Each with a different mission but all revolving around one thing - Atlanta Art.

The Broken Window Theory was common conversation amongst any Atlantan intrigued by the media frenzy over wall space.