Mark Ecko, clothing designer and consultant on Atari's upcoming Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure
, has announced plans to sue the city of New York over its revoking a license to put on a public graffiti show.
Though Ecko had secured the necessary permits to hold a "Getting Up
Block Party" in celebration of the game, the mayor's office has since withdrawn its approval. "The city isn't obligated to permit an event on a public street that encourages the vandalism of subway cars in the name of selling T-shirts and video games," said mayoral spokesman Ed Skyler. The exhibition had planned to feature graffiti artists in the act of creation using replica subway cars as a canvas.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg himself added that "We have talked to them and asked them to not have a subway car motif to write graffiti. This is not really art or expression. This is - let's be honest about what it is - it's trying to encourage people to do something that's not in anybody's interest."
Protesting the show's cancellation, Ecko wrote an open letter saying "I am well aware that drawing graffiti in public places is a crime, and I do not condone or encourage it. At the same time, however, graffiti is a legitimate and historical part of the great art history of our city." Ecko warned the officials that "I have retained legal counsel who will vigorously and zealously represent my First Amendment interests, and those of my fellow artists and the community at large."