A wild week for Miami graffiti ends in online memorials for a killed artist

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Things have gotten a little crazy in the Miami graffiti scene as of late. First, spray-paint crew Buk 50 made the news when its giant tag obscured an overhead I-95 sign during Presidents' Day weekend. The uber-ballsy stunt earned a nod from our boss, and a stodgy rebuke from our more solemn peers over at the Herald's editorial department, who took the revolutionary stance that "graffiti writers should be caught and punished." Our favorite line from the editorial: "The group has been identified by graffiti insiders as Buk 50."

That's an impressive source you got there, Herald.

That Wednesday night/Thursday morning, bombers struck again, marking a US-1 street sign between Coral Gables and downtown with the tag "Edge," repping the graffiti crews Buk 50, MSG, and 28. The artist(s) clearly knew the media would cover the vandalism again, adding the scrawled boast of "America's Most Wanted," and they were right.

The next morning, the reckless sign-painting trend went from entertaining to tragic when a Kendall graffiti artist, Enrique "Kiki" OIivera, who tagged "Merk," fell to his death on the Palmetto Expressway. A statement released by his family lamented that "this isolated incident was out of Enrique's character."

Hmmm, not so much. In the wake of his death, graffiti connoisseurs have busied themselves posting photos of his work. Check out memorial posts at MSG Cartel, The 305, and Miamigraffiti.com.

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