Graffiti artist's name continues to surface after death

Published: Mar. 30, 2016 at 2:05 AM EDT|Updated: May. 14, 2016 at 4:06 AM EDT
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Josh White (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Josh White (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Drive around Louisville and you'll see it - 2Buck, a now famous name in the graffiti subculture.

"He cared about the community. He cared about the public view of graffiti," one of his close friends, who did not want to be identified, said Tuesday.

2Buck, or Jonathan Brown of Louisville, died in late 2015 in Puerto Rico while running from police. He'd been spray painting.

Four months after his death people continue to tag his name on buildings, sound barriers and bridges.

MORE: Crime or sign of respect? Dead graffiti artist honored throughout Louisville

"I'm sure it was some kids who wanted to be just like him so they are trying to have his memory live on and still write his name," his friend said.

One of 2Buck's best friends admitted graffiti is not a victimless crime.

"It's a very fine line between artist and criminal. I feel like, um, and that's what graffiti is. It's tiptoeing that line," he said.

What he considers art, Josh White considers vandalism.

"We just want to see increase enforcement to try to abate all graffiti," White said.

White has called the city hundreds of times to report graffiti. He spearheads the Graffiti Abatement Coalition of Louisville, a group trying to fill the role he said the city isn't. Louisville lacks a graffiti abatement program.

"We have the heroin epidemic and infrastructure problems it very hard for graffiti to compete," White said.

White is also running for Louisville Metro Council.

The coalition was created in the spring of 2014, according to its website. They are asking for an officer and a detective and for the city to promise to cover graffiti on public property within 48 hours.

2Buck's friend considers that a waste of public dollars.

While he called tagging on small businesses reckless, he's hopeful public opinion will change.

"We should be happy that there is an art movement. We should be happy that there are kids out there wanting to do art instead of do drugs," he said. "It's truly just a subculture that people just don't understand."

In about two weeks, White said he is planning to conduct a graffiti census. He and a group of volunteers will drive around town and take a tally of tagged property.

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