Sunday, February 04, 2007

Graffiti News

The Statesman's Uncovering Mexico blog has some neat pictures up of street graffiti from Mexico City that are worth checking out.

Meanwhile, more graffiti news via Dirty Third Streets about Houston street artist Phillip Perez, aka "Article," suing Houston PD for harassment and wrongful arrest. As Keith Plocek wrote at HouStoned, "After the D.A. saw the video of the arrest, he dropped all the criminal charges against Perez, which doesn’t speak well of the actions of the arresting officers." The video is available on YouTube.


Anonymous said...

The Mexican graffitti is very good, but isnt it illegal there too? Personally, I dont have a problems at all with any kind of graffitti, even the 'tag' kind. It gives our towns and cities a sence of vibrancy.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

It probably is illegal, I'm sure, in Mexico.

I don't know that I think graffiti can be reasonably tolerated in a society governed by laws, but like you, I frequently enjoy graffiti on a personal level (as a viewer, not a tagger) and I find it a fascinating subject. It represents the intersection (or perhaps more accurately, the clash) of law and art, and of intellectual and physical property. It's a non-organized, populist battle for control of public spaces. The practice goes at least as far back as ancient Rome, and arguably to the first cave drawings, if you wanna get technical about it.

Some graffiti artists are brilliant. Others are narcissistic hacks. That's pretty much true of any class of artists (or for that matter politicians). Ironically, given the incident with "Article," the best way to stop graffiti isn't through arrests, it's simply to clean it up quickly - it's nearly impossible to stop hundreds of 15-year old taggers, but if their art doesn't stay up more than 24 hours, they won't continue it there.

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