Graffiti sucks. It can destroy the look and feel of a neighborhood--especially those with challenges to start with. All for the vanity of youngsters with a spray can.
Are you really suggesting some one deface a community center?
I am all for creative solutions. I know of several business owners who have worked with taggers to give them a space to work on and even provided paint as long as they left other areas alone. If they truly are "graf artists" as you term them, then they should have no problem with limiting where they do their "art"
Offer modest grants to graf artists to put murals on all those blank walls that are perennial targets for taggers. City recoups the cost by not having to send out the paint trucks as much (theory: taggers are less likely to bomb a respected piece than a blank wall). We get a cooler-looking city, save money. Case study: the murals of Valparaiso.
What next? Are you going to start calling where you work "the bullpen", describing faithful Slog readers as "true believers", and begin spewing non-sequitor exclamations such as "'nuff said?" or "Excelsior!"?
I might, true-believer.
I also might start doing all my posts in Thor-speak. FORSOOTH!
You know what? Fuck you, Jonah. Seriously. The shitty tags that get thrown up all over Capitol Hill and Downtown Seattle are no more artistically legitimate graffiti than the pre-programmed funk beats that come on a $25 synthesizer are artistically legitimate hip-hop -- and it's insulting to the entire art form to suggest otherwise.
You ever rent that movie Style War? You know that stupid cunt with the mullet who goes around tagging over the incredible pieces that other artists put up on the sides of the trains? Those are the same kinds of useless motherfuckers who tag all over Seattle. Balless, soulless gutless little bitches with no skill or vision of any kind.
And your knee-jerk attempt to somehow legitimize their bullshit on the grounds that the public utility agenda is to "crush their will" is just fucking embarrassing. If you had any understanding or respect for what the art form is really about you wouldn't give a fuck what happens to these turds. Failure to grasp this fact basically leaves you looking like another clueless white boy, doing a bad rendition of "the robot" to the funk beat on your $25 synthesizer.
I'm shaking my cans "as we speak," and no that's not an innuendo.
Remember, the best place to put Graffiti is on the windows of the Stranger offices - look them up.
There are no graffiti artists in Seattle. A bunch of lame taggers. The guy who did all those Pac-man thingies a couple of years ago is as good as it gets, and he was terrible.
All I'm saying is, after whitey defaced Mt. Rushmore all bets are off. Vandalism is go!!!
true, Fnarf. If the taggers had any balls they'd be tagging that wedding at Gas Works Park right now, the ones who bought out the entire park for a day.
But they don't have the guts to do it.
My car was recently tagged with graffiti this past weekend. Yeah, not all "art" is that great. I hope the artist who carved the anarchist symbol with black spray paint into my back door sucks and chokes on a lemon.
If you had any understanding or respect for what the art form is really about you wouldn't give a fuck what happens to these turds.
I disagree. Any writer should start with tags and work his or her way through throw-ups and pieces (with and without characters). I'm a traditionalist, but that's my aesthetic opinion. In the medium of graffiti, I think being creative alone is not as pleasing as being creative and up.
With this, however, I agree:
The shitty tags that get thrown up all over Capitol Hill and Downtown Seattle are no more artistically legitimate graffiti than the pre-programmed funk beats that come on a $25 synthesizer
You sentimental old cats think graf is still about art. It's about vandalism now and you don't get to control it. You don;t get to control expression. 20 years ago i was in graf expos with giants like Robbie Conal and Risk and you know what? It's evolved. It's not about legal walls and Tshirt designs. It's about expression. You don;t regulate that. it's already illegal so keep trying to. Spending hours on a piece you guys would endorse is nowhere man. It gets buffed the next day and that's why you have dudes who just say fuck it a crush with throwies all day. it was never about what you cats are trying to co-opt and control. These youngsters get that.
It;s all about softball cap drips all up and down your block, it's all about etchbath on storefronts. It's not going anywhere and it's harder than ever to bust. Kids aren;t even in it for fame anymore, they're in it for nothing but a "Fuck y'all". Pretty soon you won't evne see names much less the same slogan twice. You'll just see LED installations and big huge looping paint drips with nothing to say.
Spare us the "It's not valid unless I see art in it", Jesse Helms. You're officially a republican now.
I generally like graffiti as long as it's not on my building. I liked the pac-man guy and I dig the guy who is doing those one-fang-monster-head things.I'll tell you what I DO hate...the goddamn etching into glass. That shit is straight up vandalism.
Here’s the deal. If the “artist” owns the “canvas”, then it’s art; if not, it’s vandalism, and vandals should be locked up. (So should some “artists”.)
Pefectly legal to obstruct views of Rainier with a skyscraper or a US Bank sign but go and scribe your name in a fucking window on that skyscraper or bank building and all of a sudden somebody's gotta go to jail!
No, chickenshit, it's always vandalism. But if it's good art I'm willing to let it slide. That's my prerogative as the guy whose house you're spraypainting on.
Otherwise, you and I basically agree: the taggers are just about "Fuck all y'all." Which is why I have no compunction about ambushing them and beating them until they piss blood.
You keep being smug. I'll keep my eyes open. I only have to catch you once.
i lived in a city where graffiti is legal and you had important socio-political messages around that were beautiful to look at as well. also, not all cities and neighborhoods are pretty places to begin with and taggers are embarrassments. viva el sexo!
Judah, I've been beaten 'til I piss blood. That's why I have no compunction about blowing your fucking back out.
Relax, I've lived here 8 years and all you Seattleites are about as hard as hospital cotton so let's cut the crap.
See you around, Sliwa.
Vandal: Hah. I like a guy who goes around fucking other people's property up, then says he's gonna pull a gun when he's confronted. You and me should definitely get personal some day.
But hey, you know, this is the internet. We can be as hard as we want in print. We run into each other someday in a dark alley where you're tagging, you'll definitely know you've been fucked with.
Good banter, men. Keep the gloves on and keep skating.
taggers that need to die:
anyone associated with that 3A shit. 3A really is 3 assholes that are all about 18-19 and feel it's their duty to put 3A anywhere.
Glue Pinella (fuck you and your failed art institute stint).
and lots more
Graffiti art is cool and legitimate; sadly, there are few such artists in Seattle...just lameass punk taggers with a can of spray paint and time to kill...they suck...
hey, whatever happened to Coldkiller? he was a one trick pony, but at least it was a cool trick...
uh, where's all this brilliant graffiti art at, Jonah? All I ever see is lameass tagging committed by even lamer punks who aren't artists, just assholes... There's no artistic merit to a tag that took 2 seconds to spray by a cracked out doofus...
on a different note, whatever happened to Coldkiller? he was a one trick pony, but at least it was an entertaining trick...
Show me the good graffiti in this city. Seriously, someone point out places where there is actually some good pieces out there. Because even the celebrated "artists" of Seattle put up the most simplistic, repetitive tags I've ever seen.
The Pacman ghosts, those buck-tooth monsters, that squiggly chicken thing? These are all things that a preschooler could draw. They might as well tag with Crayola crayons. THAT'S a big part of the reason why people get so pissy about graffiti in this city. They all smack of no effort or talent. Those stupid fucking Pacman ghosts made it to the front cover of The Stranger! We seem to reward repetitiveness rather than talent or any form of message.
I actually enjoy seeing an interesting and/or humorous bit of graffiti, as long as it isn't destroying something nice. If it weren't for the rare stencil or sticker, there wouldn't be anything interesting tag-wise on the streets of Seattle.
Some of us regular folk just plain prefer endless slabs of boring gray to colorful works of art in our cities.
If we let these troublemakers spray their colorful marks all over our nice soul-suckingly drab commercial-development havens, then we have let the terrorists win.
There is good graffiti in this city (e.g. PG!), but I agree that there is far more lame tagging than there is actual art. I'm not going to enter the 'vandalism vs. art' debate, the lines are too fuzzy to be argued in comments.
Check out Seattle's streetart flickr pool for some good examples. Also "Northwest Art in Public Places" is another good pool.
Actually, a lot of the good new streetart pieces going up are pre-printed posters, and even static cling sheets. Pretty cool stuff.
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