Reported The New Zealand Herald ("Taggers to be paid for graffiti," Sept. 5):
That strikes me as a similar idea to at least part of the approach I've advocated recently on Grits, providing public spaces for graff artists and incentives to use them while discouraging uninvited graff through rapid cleanup.
OnTrack, the government organisation in charge of the railway infastructure, supports the move.
Communications manager Kevin Ramshaw said today many OnTrack buildings are targeted by the spray-can brigade.
"We like the idea of a bright mural instead of some offensive scribble," he said.
"Besides, if a talented kid with a spray can gets a chance to lift him or herself up and achieve something that others look at as art rather than vandalism that's a good result all around."
KNZB chief executive Barry Lucinsky said graffiti spoilt New Zealand's scenery.
"It's certainly possible to tighten laws and penalties against graffiti attacks, but it's such a simple crime to commit that a better approach is needed."
He said some graffitti artists were talented.
"Why they waste their time spraying symbols illegible to the rest of us is beyond me."
Meanwhile, speaking of graffiti, this article from the New Yorker describes a British graff artist named Banksy whose work Sunray's Wench turned me onto a couple of weeks ago. Here's Banksy's personal web page. This guy's doing some really cool work that I think anybody in their right mind would recognize as "art," vandalism or no.
Note to Banksy: You can tag my house anytime - email for directions.