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Before Forward Warrior: Cabbagetown graffiti 25 years ago

Every leap forward deserves a nostalgic look back

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The sixth incarnation of Peter Ferrari's Forward Warrior hit the wall on Wylie a couple of weeks ago. Thirty-six artists and 20 hours later, the two-day mural fest left an indelible mark featuring work from the likes of Atlanta artists Brandon Sadler, Jessica Caldas, Fabian, Catlanta, FRKO, Molly Rose Freeman, and more.


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One week later Atlanta arts appreciator and historian Terry Kearns shared the above video by Terminus Films on social media, giving viewers a rare look back at Cabbagetown graffiti 25 years ago. Shot near what looks to be the corner of Carroll and Tennelle streets, it serves as a testament of Atlanta's street and mural art evolution over the last quarter century, particularly in one of the city's most historic neighborhoods. "Heavy metal," "Black love." Notice how clean the wall on Wylie is, then compare to the video below recapping this year's Forward Warrior. Shot by Harry Hayes for Content Puppy, the one above epitomizes the raw, unsanctioned graffiti largely criminalized as vandalism in that era juxtaposed against the well-branded, city-backed diversity of today's street mural scene.

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