Chinese Communists Detain New York Graffiti Artist! (?)

Moe · 08/19/08 02:14PM

A hipster artist has just become the first American detained by Chinese authorities for something he did at the Beijing Olympics. (Is this seriously the first? We would be very happy to be wrong about everything about this.) Tennessee native James Powderly (no relation to Dash Snow) ("heh") was last seen leaving New York-where his graffiti-influenced experimental art collective had a Moma show earlier this year-in this Flickr photo. (More recognizable photo of him after the jump.) Powderly, who is known for using lasers to project his graffiti tag onto buildings, was apparently detained early this morning Beijing time while attempting to debut a work of protest art, news that comes (really!) via a Twitter message somehow received by Students For a Free Tibet. It is not Powderly's first brush with Red Chinese authorities: