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ART AND COMMERCE

A sweet canvas for graffiti artists

March 11, 2007|Lynne Heffley

GRAFFITI BARS, chocolate-coated confections wrapped in street cool art, will sport signature works by legends of New York's 1970s "graff-scene": Blade, Crachee, Crash, Crime 79, the late Dondi, Dr. Revolt, Iz the Wiz, Lady Pink, Spar One and Voice of the Ghetto (Stay High 149)

"We said, 'Hey, want to make a candy wrapper?' " said Alison Nelson, owner of the Chocolate Bar, a New York boutique candy store. The artists approached went along, though many of them -- including Crachee, a.k.a. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mitch Weiss -- have long-since transitioned to more conventional fields of creative expression. (Dondi's design enfolds a "memorial bar.")

The idea for the bars, Nelson said, was sparked by her reflection that the store's 2.25-ounce candy bars are shaped like subway cars, a common graffiti target. Its similar line of Artist Bars features wrappers designed by Gary Baseman, Dalek, Tim Biskup and other artists, graphic artists and toy designers.

The Graffiti Bars will be available at the Chocolate Bar website (www.chocolatebarnyc.combeginning March 30 and locally in April at Zanzabelle in Silver Lake and the Santa Monica Museum of Art, as well as this summer at the Hollywood Bowl. A dollar from the sale of each $4 bar, Nelson said, will benefit the All Stars, a New York-based nonprofit performing arts organization for underprivileged youth.

A limited edition "gallery box," with bars wrapped in each artists' work and a graffiti stencil created by Brooklyn-based Stencil1, will sell for $40.

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-- Lynne Heffley

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