Interesting anti-graffiti sign

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61 Responses to “Interesting anti-graffiti sign”

  1. Antinous says:

    Are there not societies in which decorating everything that you encounter is considered a virtue?

  2. Doug Nelson says:

    At some level, art requires arrogance. Unfortunately, some view art as license for their arrogance.

  3. benchatt says:

    I wonder how many people actually give them the bird…I know *I’d* be tempted.

  4. adammetal says:

    This kid was tagging the wall on the levee, and the levee cops chased him along the levee in their car until he fell down, and they ran him over and killed him. I wish they would have been competent enough to catch him alive.

  5. ehkca says:

    This reminds me of the passive-aggressive notes website: http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/ (which I think BoingBoing first introduced me to)

  6. Antinous says:

    some view art as license for their arrogance

    Dated a few artists, have you?

  7. Grumpy says:

    Little Star blew a great opportunity for irony. They should have had someone make a stencil and spray paint the desired text on the wall. Now that would have been graffiti art!

  8. Landowner says:

    I would like to say that I find Banksy’s work very interesting. 99.9% of people that consider their graffit “art” are mistaken however. Like most “art”.

  9. AahMyEyes says:

    “Eh”‘s idea that property isn’t being destroyed when it has been spraypainted is ludicrous.

    If the owner of the now graffitied wall doesn’t want the “art” on his property he has to pay for cleaning materials and possibly a tin of paint to restore his property to its original condition.

    It is a very big “fuck you” when someone shows no consideration for another person’s property. Or I suppose you wouldn’t mind if we came over to your place and drew penes all over your walls?

  10. FredicvsMaximvs says:

    @MONUMENT: You, as an artist, are not in total control of peoples’ perceptions of your art. An individual will see your art through the filters of his or her experience, worldview, taste, physical differences (i.e. colorblindness) to name a few. To say that you should be the one who decides whether they should be angered by your art is the height of arrogance, not to mention the ignorance of which you accuse them.

    Myself, I find beauty in a well-executed piece of “street art.” However, I also get angry at kids who run around spray-bombing everything in sight, just so they can achieve some sort of misguided fame.

    Who are you to tell me how I should feel about either one?

  11. robin_hood says:

    The critique of the entire concept of ownership has always been an important part of graffiti. Also, thanks to landowner for further providing anecdotal evidence that the richer you get, the more boring/intolerant you become.

  12. craigiest says:

    Crazy, I snapped a picture of the exact same sign Saturday, and was amused to see the polar opposite in the 500 Club bathroom a couple blocks away.

  13. DCer says:

    What is this graffiti story doing tagged “art.”

  14. mybaboonheart says:

    Dear Little Star,

    As agents of gentrification, and especially after posting this holier-than-thou academic snippet (in a primarily Spanish speaking neighborhood) did you ever once consider you deserve a “fuck you?”

  15. David Pescovitz says:

    @CRAIGIEST (#25), Ha! Love that other photo.

  16. figment88 says:

    When sitting around with my lefty pals one-upping eachother on how progressive we are, if the conversation turns to graffiti (“street art” give me a fuckin’ break), I pull an immediate 180.

    Graffiti is pure evil. It is is not self-expression, it is narcissism.

    Whether it is in a private bathroom, a train car, a bus stop, or the side of a beautiful turn-of-the century building, graffiti is ugly. It doesn’t just give the finger to the property owner, but to everyone who encounters it.

    Graffiti does as much as crack and Republicans in creating despair in our cities.

  17. Landowner says:

    robin_hood

    Thanks for calling me rich.(I wish) And yeah, thats pretty much the point I was trying to make. Having kids doesn’t help ether.

  18. zikzak says:

    @ Landowner,15: Actually, I find that i’m much more concerned about graffiti when I don’t own property, because if my home gets defaced the landlord may blame it on me. If it was my property, I could be laid back about it.

    But I guess, when you get down to it, many of us just don’t give a fuck about the sacred “private property”, and feel that exposing the public to experience interesting and artistic spaces is a greater good than any damage it may do to someone’s public or commercial property.

    Also, the “in your house” thing is pretty hackneyed by now – very little graffiti is done in people’s personal living space, and bringing up that possibility is just appealing to people’s natural fear of having their home invaded, which is closely associated with a fear for personal safety.

  19. BdgBill says:

    I prefer the use of violence to deter vandalism then cute little notes.

    All graffiti is cowardly. These people seem to be saying “I have something to say but I’m afraid to say it, so I will write it on bathroom walls, dark alleys, anywhere I cannot be seen.

    At best it’s a pathetic cry for attention. “Look at what I did! I exist! Notice Me!”

  20. sparkdale says:

    I find this a bit conflicting, as my favourite graffiti in Toronto is the I Love you’s tagged all over the annex.

    http://www.iloveyougalleries.com/gallery/Fgallery2-10.jpg

  21. Burns! says:

    @ Zikzak, #31:
    “…the “in your house” thing is pretty hackneyed by now – very little graffiti is done in people’s personal living space, and bringing up that possibility is just appealing to people’s natural fear of having their home invaded, which is closely associated with a fear for personal safety.”

    Zikzak, you clearly missed the point. My comment had absolutely nothing to do with home invasion or personal safety. I was drawing a parallel between the restaurant’s bathroom and Monument’s living room; neither owner appreciates unsolicited/unwanted art in their house.

    “But I guess, when you get down to it, many of us just don’t give a fuck about the sacred “private property”, and feel that exposing the public to experience interesting and artistic spaces is a greater good than any damage it may do to someone’s public or commercial property.”

    This is perhaps the most narcissistically ignorant statement of them all, and it gets right to the heart of the matter. You don’t give a fuck about private property. You feel that exposing the rest of us to “art” is a greater good. Well, who are you to decide? In case you hadn’t noticed, you’re not alone in this world, nor are you the sole arbiter of what is interesting and artistic. Most of us live in a large society in which we all must coexist, and that includes not stealing from one another, whether that theft is of physical property or of the value of my unaltered bathroom wall.

  22. FredicvsMaximvs says:

    @ EH (#14) Yet at the end of the day, spraying paint on a wall, garbage can, or mirror does not in fact “destroy” those objects.

    Perhaps by your definition the object isn’t destroyed. What if the value I place on it includes its visual appearance? In that case, you have indeed destroyed it.

  23. justONEguy says:

    I question the artistic merits of scrawling a generic tag on a bathroom wall (as opposed to making street art on the street) and I can empathize with this business owner’s frustration with it. However, this kind of generalization about graffiti doesn’t do anything but further the urban alienation that gives rise to a new crop graffiti artists.

  24. Takuan says:

    it’s really very simple; if I find you painting my property and I find it pleasing: no harm done. If,on the other hand, I find a certain je ne sais quoi lacking in the aesthetic, I will break your painting arm. Nothing personal, it is how I freely express my art criticism

    “Power without responsibility, the harlot’s prerogative” If you are truly an artist, you must have courage and stand up for your art. Take honest risks and earn respect I want to respect you, really, I do.

  25. Takuan says:

    why can’t graffiti artists do a first draft on paper taped to the wall and then commit to permanent paint if they are well received?

    Or is the power trip of ramming your art down peoples throats the good part?

  26. justONEguy says:

    @Figment88, #29: To me, a bus stop with graffiti is a little more than just a boring ol’ bus stop. Its poetry in the midst of these boxes that we go back and forth from. Its a sign of life in these dead beige climate-controlled hills. Where do we collectively aim our frustrations when the finger is constantly being given to us with Box stores and coffeeshops and pylons littering the landscape? Mom-and-Pop stores supplanted by chains supplanted by FOR LEASE signs?

    You don’t have to tag a wall to be a narcissist. You can plug away at your computer, call yourself a “Lefty”, and scoff at the things around you that you can easily call evil. I think you need to fine-tune your definitions, son.

  27. EH says:

    It’s funny to watch all of these people claim narcissism on the part of the graffiti writers, yet they think their perspectives on the issue are so much more nuanced and persuasive that they must not have been made before. “This point will be made more convincing by my telling of it!” Hardly.

    That people associate graffiti with the desire to break someone’s arm or have their homes decorated against their will is telling, not ever once stopping to consider the difference between private property and a commercial bathroom. Not that this should cause you to like graffiti (that doesn’t hang in a gallery), but you might pause to consider the tendency of public spaces to attract public behavior. I mean jeez, it’s just a pizza bathroom in the Mission (or is it Noe Valley?). Little Star ain’t Gary Danko.

    Oh, but let’s cast the net wider than Little Star so we can make our point 110% better. “You hate private property!” “Free Mumia!!”

    Burns:
    In case you hadn’t noticed, you’re not alone in this world, nor are you the sole arbiter of what is interesting and artistic.

    In case YOU hadn’t noticed, in a world where 99% of art is garbage nobody can agree on what the remaining 1% is.

  28. Antinous says:

    why can’t graffiti artists do a first draft on paper taped to the wall and then commit to permanent paint if they are well received?

    That’s pretty close to art by committee. Did you forget your meds this morning?

    I can’t tell you how many times I spraypainted “Free Dessie Woods! Smash Colonial Violence!” all over San Francisco at 3 AM.

  29. Antinous says:

    Off the top of my head, I can think of four very different types of graffiti:

    1) Tagging – basically pissing on a wall to mark your territory

    2) Angry – pissed off and wanting to ruin something

    3) Political – speaks for itself

    4) Art – actually intending to create an art piece, legally or illegally

    I love #4, but it probably represents 1% of what’s out there. I accept #3 as part of life in a world of haves and have-nots, and it also represents a tiny portion of existing graffiti. The other 98%, I could live without, but it doesn’t bother me. It’s just another layer of culture.

  30. Takuan says:

    did you claim it was art? I have a problem with the “art” defense the same way I dislike those who prove their ability to sexually please others by forcible demonstration. “Arr, me proud beauty, ye’ll luv it! Now get in the barrel and we’ll do it hurricane style!!”

  31. sirkowski says:

    If there is no private property, when you tag or graffiti something, you are appropriating to yourself the common good and committing a crime against The People. Enjoy the goulag!

  32. Javier Candeira says:

    I liked this one today:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gammablablog/516149765/

    It’s a note outside a public school asking the “politically-inspired” graffiti writer to contribute to the repainting of the wall.

  33. Antinous says:

    did you claim it was art?

    I claim it only as sleep loss.

  34. Hexatron says:

    Respect.

    It’s amazing how well it works when you try to communicate with people and assume they’re intelligent.

  35. Takuan says:

    political speech must be free, no crime there if graffiti is the only voice permitted.

    Risking being shot or tortured for spray painting “Fuck Bush” is commendable and honourable.

    Screeding walls when you have a free service like BoingBoing that reaches a wide audience is just being unimaginative.

  36. Takuan says:

    oh, and if any think that “shot or tortured” is over the top, just try doing exactly that in Baghdad today.

  37. Frank_in_Virginia says:

    This is further referenced in: Cement or Canvas: Aerosol Art & The Changing Face of Graffiti in the 21st Century found here: http://www.graffiti.org/faq/graffiti-is-part-of-us.html

  38. Qozmiq says:

    “…was just reading somewhere online that cave painting was actually graffiti by adolescent males of that time…so that would make this very hip being that it’s one of the oldest known art forms of man!…” Thanks Rootzz

    From Wikipedia: (thanks again Rootzz)

    R. Dale Guthrie[1] has studied not only the most artistic and publicized paintings but also a variety of lower quality art and figurines, and he identifies a wide range of skill and ages among the artists. He also points that the main themes in the paintings and other artifacts (powerful beasts, risky hunting scenes and the over-sexual representation of women in the Venus figurines) are to be expected in the fantasies of adolescent males, who made a big part of the human population at the time. According to Merlin Stone in her book When God Was a Woman, many scholars and archaeologists impose modern sexist views on ancient findings. Considering the prevalence of Goddess worship (beginning between 7,000 and 25,000 BC), it is much more probable that art depicting the fullness of a woman’s body was not a teenage male’s fantasy but reproductions done in praise of women by artists of either sex. As with all prehistory, it is impossible to be certain because of the relative lack of material evidence and the many pitfalls associated with trying to understand the prehistoric mindset.

  39. Frank_in_Virginia says:

    Susan Phillips’s Bio here: http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu/asis/profile/anth.htm

  40. Doug Nelson says:

    For anyone else (like me) that had trouble reading it, here’s what it says:

    DEAR POTENTIAL GRAFFITI “ARTISTS,”

    Whether or not it says so in so many words, the fuck you message is implicit in the use of graffiti as communication. The medium itself implies alienation, discontentment, marginality, repression, resentment, rebellion: no matter what it says, graffiti always implies a “fuck you”. Though addressing the larger society in this contemptuous manner may be a secondary or even tertiary element of the graffiti writer’s agenda, this element always lurks in the background of every graffito on every wall. (Phillips 1999:23)

    Honestly we rather you give us the finger on the way out than destroy our mirror, garbage can, and walls.

    And we already have enough graffiti on our walls.

    With love,
    Little Star

  41. Chemical Orphan says:

    The “fuck you” message is NOT necessarily implicit in the use of graffiti as communication.

    It IS, however, implicit in that sign.

    I believe the term is “projection”?

  42. strathmeyer says:

    “The “fuck you” message is NOT necessarily implicit in the use of graffiti as communication.

    It IS, however, implicit in that sign.

    I believe the term is “projection”?”

    Wow, your terse claims convinced me to ignore the well written scientific papers and the subject.

  43. RyanH says:

    No, actually, I think that spraying paint on someone else’s property does implicitly carry a great big ‘Fuck You’. After all, if you respected them, you would not be spraying paint all over their stuff.

  44. Kyle Armbruster says:

    This is the stupidest conversation ever.

    Only idiot city people don’t understand that all buildings belong to someone. Just because your environment growing up was made of buildings doesn’t mean that those are naturally occurring. You don’t have the right to even touch them, let alone “decorate” them.

    I’d love some of you to go out into the country and try painting on someone’s barn.

    Shotgun wounds can be nasty.

  45. monument says:

    What ignorance.

    I feel as an aspiring artist, I own the right to be offended to the extent of my anger. I believe I speak for many artists (whether they support vandalism or not) when I say almost anything and everything can be used as a medium, and to have someone tell you that your tools imply messages of vulgar hostility is absurdly ignorant. I can understand, however, that this sign was aimed towards potential vandals in their private bathrooms but I strongly believe there could have been a much better approach to this issue rather than bashing on the “street artist” population as a whole.

  46. Dizbuster says:

    I’m surprised the sign hasn’t caused a bunch of angry vandalism itself. Maybe it’s because the pizza is so goddamned good. Best in town!

  47. Christovir says:

    Sidewalk chalk is the Gentleman-Vandal’s medium of choice.

  48. Antinous says:

    I’d love some of you to go out into the country and try painting on someone’s barn.

    You must not have done growed up in the country, because kids have been doing exactly that since there’s been barns and paint. They ain’t much to do on a Saturday night but tip cows and paint barns. Except for tipping and painting gravestones.

  49. Takuan says:

    who owns the buildings owned by the government?

  50. Takuan says:

    we were supposed to TIP the cows?

  51. Antinous says:

    Halliburton. Duh.

  52. agger says:

    Fck Wndws Mbl

  53. Takuan says:

    oh…right

  54. David Pescovitz says:

    @DougNelson (#5), Thanks so much for typing that out!

  55. allan says:

    i have a blog about the mission district with a whole category devoted to interesting things in neighborhood bathrooms: http://missionmission.wordpress.com/category/bathrooms/

  56. Bugs says:

    @8 (Monument) “I say almost anything and everything can be used as a medium, and to have someone tell you that your tools imply messages of vulgar hostility is absurdly ignorant.”

    If not outright hostility, there is at least a lack of repect. A lot of graffiti artists don’t stop to consiser the possibility that neither the owners of the media you’re talking about (say, the walls of my apartment building), nor the users of the space it borders, don’t want someone scrawling over their property or environment.

    Grated, a tiny minority of the street art I’ve seen is excellent and does appeal to me. However, appreciation of art is totally subjective. Whether a property owner will enjoy having your art painted on or in their building is not your decision to make.

  57. EH says:

    No, actually, I think that spraying paint on someone else’s property does implicitly carry a great big ‘Fuck You’. After all, if you respected them, you would not be spraying paint all over their stuff.

    Yet at the end of the day, spraying paint on a wall, garbage can, or mirror does not in fact “destroy” those objects.

  58. Cpt. Tim says:

    “we were supposed to TIP the cows?”

    Takuan for the win!

  59. Landowner says:

    I wonder what percentage of graffiti apologists have a mortgage. Something magical happens when you actually own something and have to work very hard to keep it.
    Spray painting my house would end in ITG-like behavior.

  60. Burns! says:

    @ Monument, #8:

    “…almost anything and everything can be used as a medium, and to have someone tell you that your tools imply messages of vulgar hostility is absurdly ignorant.”

    Imagine that I came into your home and began spray painting a mural (subject of my choosing) on your living room wall. When you ask me to stop, as you do not appreciate my subject or style, I politely refuse. As I continue painting, I explain that your living room wall is my choice of medium and for you to attempt to stifle my creativity is absurdly ignorant. Would you not consider my refusal to stop an implicit “fuck you?”

    As an aspiring artist, you should create. Express whatever drives your creative mind. That creation should be made available to those who choose to participate, not forced upon everyone else. Most especially not utilizing *someone else’s* medium (private property.)

  61. Willsan says:

    Well in the case of the mirror it does destroy the object.

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