Painting on a Smile

In Atlanta, the city fathers have decided to combat economic crisis with graffiti. The ‘Living Walls’ project is bringing in artists from around the world to adorn struggling neighborhoods.
According to the NYTimes: ‘While traditional graffiti may often be seen as a sign of urban decay, these murals — sprawling, brightly colored portraits and designs — aim to instill some optimism.’ You still won’t be able to find a job, but at least you’ll have something to look at when you’re out pounding the pavement.
At the same time, police are cracking down on local graffiti artists with increased arrests, fines and probation.
In the 1970s in the South Bronx, the city commissioned artists to paint over the bricked up facades of abandoned houses. On the subway, you’d roll through empty blocks and see murals of flower boxes, plants, lounging cats, open windows in the ghost town. (I don’t have the exact dates for this so if anyone can point me the right way, please do).