Max Good, 2011, 86 min.
A new breed of crime-fighter now stalks the urban landscape: the anti-graffiti vigilante. These dedicated blight-warriors stop at nothing to rid their neighborhoods and cities of street art, stickers, tags, and posters. Yet several of these vigilantes have become the very menace they set out to eliminate. In their relentless attempt to stamp out graffiti, they have turned to illegally and destructively painting other people’s property. Vigilante Vigilante is the story of two filmmakers who set out to expose these mysterious characters and discover a battle of expression that stretches from the streets to academia.
Following the March 7th screening there will be a panel discussion with director Max Good, artists ESPO and Lava 1 & 2, Wendy Feuer, the Assistant Commissioner for Urban Design and Art at the New York City Department of Transportation and Diona Phoenix, the program director of WCCR radio station at the City College of New York
Following the March 9th screening there will be a conversation between director Max Good and retired Vandals Squad Cop Steve Mona.
Wendy Feuer has been the Assistant Commissioner for Urban Design & Art at the New York City Department of Transportation since June of 2007. She lead the team that produced the DOT Street Design Manual in May 2009, a comprehensive book that provides guidance for City agencies, design consultants and community groups on street designs. The Urban Design & Art office reviews all designs relating to the public right-of-way that are submitted to both Landmarks and the Public Design Commission. The office launched the Urban Art Program in the fall of 2008 and has installed over 90 temporary projects since then including an artist designed painting of 44,000 square feet of the plazas in Times Square.
Max Good spent the last 3 years following vigilante buffers and interviewing street artists and academics to bring you "Vigilante Vigilante". He recently worked as an assistant producer and distribution manager on the Academy Award® nominated documentary feature The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2009). Previously, he co-produced B.I.K.E (2006), a documentary feature on the underground culture of mutant bicycle gangs that screened at NYC’s MOMA, the Slamdance, Silverdocs, and Ann Arbor Film Festivals, and aired on Canal Plus (France) and HBO Poland. He has also directed several short films, including Gangster Administration (2005) and Smooth (2009), as well as Ungonquinlenos (2006).
Lava 1&2 is a legendary aerosol artist and one of the first individuals to conceive of and design (by hand) hip-hop party flyers in the 70s in New York City.
Steve Mona as he states on his blog is “a retired cop who doesn't care if people smoke pot as long as they don't do it while driving.” He “ran the NYPD Vandal Squad for over a decade” but believes “that graffiti isn't the problem, it's where they put it that is.”
Diona Phoenix is the program director of WCCR radio station at the City College of New York majoring in Public Relations and minoring in both Spanish and Theater. She is part of CCNY's MCA department and is looking forward to pursuing graduate school after graduation. Diona has always had a love for the performing arts and has participated in several plays throughout her lifetime, including a production of "The Other Shore" at City College and several student films. Likewise, Diona enjoys music and dancing and is best known at the station for "bustin' a move" whenever she hears Baltimore Club music.
Steve Powers aka ESPO was born and raised and Philadelphia, then moved to New York City in 1994. After stints as publisher of On the Go Magazine, author of the book The Art Of Getting Over, and full-time graffiti writer, Powers opened his studio in Janurary of 1998. Since then he has shown at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, The 49th Venice Bienalle, The Luggage Store in San Francisco, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. He lives and works in Manhattan.