The Indianapolis International Airport Rejects Hip Hop Culture


(Above: Brame UW pictured at Style Wars screening)

For the past few years I’ve been educating the public about the roots and history of writing. These have included talks, film screenings, presentations, Q&As, and exhibitions. A few months ago the Indianapolis International Airport contacted me to create an art installation. The airport was very aware that my focus is on writing and Hip Hop culture. The proposal I submitted was met with great resistance and at the end the airport rejected the proposal. Read the media release below. —BRAME UW


The Indianapolis International Airport Rejects Art Installation,
Deeming Hip Hop Culture An Illegal Activity

Indianapolis IN, Wednesday, 18 June 2014 — The Indianapolis International Airport has rejected an art installation proposal by artist Samuel E Vázquez that would had celebrated the cultural contributions and impact of Hip Hop culture (Music, Dance, Poetry/Rap, and Graffiti Art). The installation which highlights the known elements of Hip Hop was proposed for display at the Indianapolis International Airport in the Fall of 2014.

Through independent arts consultant Julia Muney Moore (now Director of Public Arts at the Arts Council of Indianapolis), the Indianapolis International Airport cited, “We are concerned that to the public it might seem that we are endorsing an illegal activity.”

About the artist:
Samuel E Vázquez (Brame UW) was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1970. In 1979, his family moved to New York City where Samuel was introduced to graffiti art. Shortly thereafter, he joined numerous graffiti crews from Manhattan, Brooklyn, and The Bronx. Throughout the 1980s his art graced the New York City subways, rooftops, and walls—including the Graffiti Hall of Fame. Today, Samuel works on abstract expressionist paintings.

Samuel has introduced the historic New York City subway graffiti documentary Style Wars (1983. Dir. Tony Silver, Henry Chalfant) at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. He has also lectured about the art and history of tagging at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University. Most recently Samuel was a guest panelist for the screening of the documentary The Wrinkles of the City – La Havana (2012. Dir. JR, José Párlá) at The Indianapolis Public Library.

Media Inquiries for Brame UW (Samuel E Vázquez):


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