Documentary film maker Doug Pray wasn't so sure he wanted to do a film about graffiti. The director of Hype and Scratch had been approached to do a documentary about the subculture of graffiti artists but wasn't interested. That all changed though when he finally spent some time with one of those artists.

The documentary Infamy is being released Tuesday on DVD. The film followed graffiti artists to chronicle what it really took to be a graffiti artist in a major city – it goes way beyond scrawling "I wuz here" on a bathroom stall. Pray's film isn't the first to take a look at the art of graffiti – and here is where I say: Yes, I do think it is art. Almost 25 years ago, Style Wars was the first film to bring graffiti into mainstream pop culture. Well, it looks like no trend is being left unturned because Pray's film is just the first in a line of movies being released on DVD that are about graffiti. Not all of these films are documentaries either, narrative films like The Graffiti Artist and Quality of Life -- both made in 2004, are also getting a second look.

Considered "this ultimate form of urban rebellion," its too early to say whether these films will finally lift graffiti artists in to the mainstream art world or whether it just might be another exercise in mining a subculture for some easy "youth-oriented" dollars.

[via New York Times]