The Graffiti Artist | Chicago Reader

The Graffiti Artist

First-time actor Ruben Bansie-Snellman is terrific as Nick, a friendless, alienated skateboarder and tagger who shoplifts his paints and works by night. His face and eyes convey just the right mix of zonked-out disaffection and emotional yearning as he reaches out to another teen, Jesse, who comes from a more affluent home. They tag together, photographing each other in front of their joint efforts, and have sex—after which Jesse abandons Nick. Director James Bolton lets these taciturn kids speak through gestures and glances: the first scenes have no dialogue, and the painting scenes are broken down into multiple angles in a way that celebrates the act that gives meaning to Nick's life. 80 min.

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