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Affinities: Tagging Is Not Just for Teenagers

Seniors defy aging with graffiti. 


May Woo

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Norman DePover

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Jacqueline Robinson

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Murray Grossman

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Bruce Brotzman

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Edward Randleston

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Graciela Gonzalez

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Eugenia Aldano

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Dorothy Ford

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“This is an antiaging graffiti art program,” Scott Power explains. “When you hand a spray can to an 80-year-old, they are young again.”

In August 2016, Power and L.A. street artist Man One worked with a crew of 12 seniors from San Francisco’s Institute on Aging to spray-paint a mural outside the nonprofit’s headquarters. The piece—One Love—was the culmination of a senior-wellness program that included lessons about hip-hop, a primer on street art, and a field trip to Clarion Alley. Norman DePover’s interest was immediately sparked. He ended up doing extra research online, studying Man One’s oeuvre and even putting in a request for a T-shirt featuring his art.

Power and Man One hope to expand the campaign to elder-care facilities around the country. “I usually work with teenagers, and the seniors were so different and inspiring,” Man One says. “They weren’t timid at all about grabbing the spray can and going to town.” And once their own mural was complete, DePover felt he had created something even greater than a work of art. “This is going to be here long after I’m gone,” he says. “It’s my legacy.”


Originally published in the April issue of San Francisco

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