We’re Witnessing A “Monumental Moment” In Graffiti History

August 1, 2023 | Bucky Turco

📷: @nycgraff.head

70. That’s how many New York City subway cars were hit last week, establishing a new record high and milestone in the number of incidents the MTA normally deals with over 7 days time. First reported by @RespectTheArchitects, the “historical feat” consisted of several wholetrains getting covered from top to bottom. (For the uninitiated, that basically means that the writers involved painted unifying designs across multiple wholecars.)


The city’s transit agency confirmed the incredibly high body count to ANIMAL and provided the following statement from MTA New York City Transit Senior Vice President of Subways Demetrius Crichlow:

“Vandalizing trains is a dangerous, selfish activity that disrupts public service by removing cars for cleaning, creating unfortunate cleanup expenses. The MTA is cooperating fully with the NYPD investigation to identify those who are accountable.”

Since 1989, the MTA has enacted a strict policy of removing any graffitied subway car from service. For decades, this strategy has been highly effective in reducing the amount of trains getting smashed. However, a couple of years before COVID took hold, a shift started to happen, and the buff (and threat of arrest) stopped being the strong deterrent it once was. From then, through the hazy period of the pandemic, and to this very day, local and foreign aerosol enthusiasts have been unleashing a relentless torrent of spray paint on train panels (and everything else), ushering us all into a new, and still yet-to-be-named era of graffiti history.