Art Crimes
January 9, 2002 1:50 PM   Subscribe

Art Crimes...Only thing that's missing is a virtual graffiti wall
posted by stevridie (12 comments total)
Great link, stevridie, thanks.
I loved the Lisbon links, specially the trains!

When one of my daughters was fifteen this boy she'd met through the Internet asked her what train she usually caught to go to school.

A few days after, before her still-sleepy eyes, her morning train pulled up all painted up with her name.

The sad thing is they never actually met. His name was André, one of the minor graffiti gods here in Portugal. And was rooting for him, too...

(That's the good thing about being a backward country - you get to enjoy things twice. First time round in their original surrounding. Then, when it's all been forgotten, it takes off here. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:12 PM on January 9, 2002

virtual graffiti wall
posted by fishfucker at 2:52 PM on January 9, 2002

I'm always in awe of their Black Book section.

I love the simplicity and contraints of the blackbook format.
posted by ewwgene at 3:54 PM on January 9, 2002

Ugh. A troll alert here....but can someone explain to me what on earth is appealing about graffiti? I think it's ugly not to mention destructive and illegal. A blight on cities and communities.

I can't believe people over the age of 16 condone and even celebrate this garbage.
posted by aacheson at 4:24 PM on January 9, 2002

I think it's ugly not to mention destructive and illegal.

Well, to take things one step at a time:

ugly - I think that Cubism is ugly but that doesn't seem to stop a sizeable number of people appreciating and enjoying it. Different strokes for different folks.

destructive - I can see how it's destructive if it goes over a sign or something but on a wall or similar static space? I don't believe that the paint is that toxic.

illegal - Fair point. I could say that there are a lot of things that are illegal that various groups believe should not be (soft drugs spring to mind immediately) but that doesn't change anything. If you don't find it artistically rewarding or challenging then you're going to be against it.

I should probably say that I'm not really into graffiti myself but, having lived in Bristol for 3 years, I have come to appreciate the enormous talent and creativity of Banksy.
posted by MUD at 5:16 PM on January 9, 2002

One man's garbage is another man's art, aacheson. Open up your mind to new ways of thinking.

Personally, I really like the wild look of graf art, so long as it's done with style and craft, and not just used to blight our public spaces. There's a classic Graffiti FAQ on the actions and motivations of graf writers, so long as you're interested.

Incidentally, Art Crimes is one of the oldest Web sites I can remember, having discovered it in mid-1995.
posted by Down10 at 6:43 PM on January 9, 2002

I am over 16 and I like graffiti a LOT.

I like that it is free and it won't last
forever. It is a form of expression which
isn't held back by rules or laws.

I live in São Paulo (Brazil), a city which is
covered in graffiti in a manner unlike any other
city in the world.

In a city so full of advertising, it
is a welcome break to see kids claiming
urban space.

Ugly? That depends. Artists like osGêmeos (the
twins), Herbert, and Vitche had their
work recently exhibited in the SP Biannual
Art show and in museums here. osGemeos have
exhibited their work in France, Germany, and
in New York.

When I see a wall they did here in SP, I
always photograph it, since they don't
last very long. This is election year
and soon the walls will be plastered with
political ads, all which are definetely
not beautiful.

You may check out some of their work here:

posted by ig at 8:34 PM on January 9, 2002

I think it's ugly not to mention destructive and illegal.

Graffiti is destructive and illegal, but I still enjoy looking at it. It's my community too, and I don't consider it a blight. No, I don't write graffiti myself.

I can't believe people over the age of 16 condone and even celebrate this garbage.

Now that's a troll if I ever saw one.
posted by walrus at 5:45 AM on January 10, 2002

I find graffiti cool the way I find gangsters in movies cool, and thug rappers cool, and probably for much the same reason: it's lawless, it's bold and gaudy and brazen and in your face, it's got style and machismo and raw energy. But like gangsters and thugs, graffiti is less appealing the closer you get to it.

Gangsters are cool as long as you're not their victim. Graffiti is beautiful as long as it's not your business or house or car that gets hit. One of graffiti's messages is its medium, and its medium is contempt for the right of the car's or house's or business's owner to have his property look like what he wants it to look like, not what some random guy with a spray can wants it to look like.

People feel strongly about this. So strongly that they will leave a neighborhood where there is uncontrolled graffiti. And that's why graffiti is destructive.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:41 AM on January 10, 2002


Thanks for the link. I like the different look of Bansky's graffiti. So much graffiti looks the same to me, probably because most graffiti is just half-assed tags thrown up in seconds. But I'd have to say Bansky and the other featured in these links are true artists.

I do agree with Slithy_Tove though, you have to respect people's private property. But I see nothing wrong with decorating abondoned buildings, or the public side of walls.
posted by thewittyname at 7:19 AM on January 10, 2002

Yes, property damage bad. I'd like to see more public graffiti walls though. If you've ever been to Tooting scroll down Thameslink station, you might agree. The skate parks I've seen which allow graffiti are quite pretty, too.
posted by walrus at 7:39 AM on January 10, 2002

Read this in a graf mag this month (i forget which one- maybe elemental), but now graf artists are using glass etching liquid to tag store windows.

The effect is interesting, but unfortunate for the business owner- as they have no choice but to replace the window.

Also in the same issue, they had a photo essay on a boundary pushing graf artist who now does his tagging in the form of metal cutouts. He then places these metal sculptures around the city.
posted by ewwgene at 9:35 AM on January 12, 2002

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