Graffiti Timeline


I recently came across this photograph of myself observing graffiti at an I-35 underpass in West Duluth, probably from 1997 or 1998. So I went back and rephotographed the spot to show how the graffiti has changed.


The experience inspired my column in this week’s Transistor (which later became a Saturday Essay on PDD). It also made me think that it might be a fun art project to photograph one of the bare concrete walls when the I-35 reconstruction is completed and return to photograph it whenever new graffiti shows up, then string them together ten years later for a little video. Of course, I’m not actually going to do that — it’s just an idea.



about 14 years ago

The artistry has obviously grown in tagging.

M Clinton

about 14 years ago

Does anyone remember the "Beat This" graffiti  that was in the center of the top of an arched bridge over Chester Creek - where it was nearly inconceivable how someone could have reached that spot to tag it?  That must be about 6 years ago.  I always thought that was so clever.


about 14 years ago

M Clinton: And the "We tried" response about halfway up the arch. There's now graffiti at the top that says "Beat it" or something like that.


about 14 years ago

Rock climbers. They had to belay over the top.


about 14 years ago

The "Beat This" graffiti was there as early as '97 or so, possibly even a few years earlier.

Barrett Chase

about 14 years ago

I enjoy the thought of someone wondering what to scrawl in blue paint under the freeway, and after careful consideration, choosing "smoke dope" as the best possible option.

tony d

about 14 years ago

"Beat This" went up in either '91 or '92--I remember first noticing it when I was walking to UMD while in grad school. It was painted over, and now there is indeed the "Beat It" tag, but not as far toward the middle as the original (also, I believe there is a "slap!" tag in response next to it).

Someone with long hair and a sleepy voice who can run for 150 miles fueled by little more than residual THC once told me the original tag was the work of one Dustin "Dusty" Olson, but that could just be a rumor.

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

This shot is from April 17, 2017. When the paved DWP trail was installed the graffiti was painted over.

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