All are welcome to express themselves in the box below

Gama-Go's Greg Long just snapped this photo of a roll-up door in San Francisco. Click the image to see it larger. Here's what's written on the door above and below the graffiti:
All are welcome to express themselves in the box below.

Printing within the above box is hereby expressly permitted and shall not be considered "graffiti" in accordance with article #23 of the San Francico Municipal Code.


  1. Hmm. Imagine that after a few decades. That one square will be the only part of the door that sticks out an extra inch.

    Eventually, they scrape it off and put it in a museum, artist: San Francisco.

  2. It’s remarkable that the ‘artists’ constrain themselves to working only within the borders of the box…

  3. Nice #6!

    Yeah, when I saw it I was thinking that it’d need some corrective actions by the framemaker every so often.

  4. When I was living in L.A., the city of Venice Beach was insightful enough to set aside some walls where taggers and graffiti artists could spray to their heart’s content without getting harassed.

    Predictably some dumbasses on the city council decided that they should change the policy and require would-be artists to get permits on penalty of arrest. Result? Local taggers spray elsewhere instead.

    Graffiti artists are often surprisingly well behaved when they are given a legal outlet for self expression.

  5. In my little berg they tend to frown on graffiti, but we have two designated spots where it is not only tolerated but encouraged. Everywhere else bylaws force the city or private business to cover stuff up ASAP depending on who owns the ground under the canvas in question.

    One of these spots is TeckWall. It is on a main downtown transit artery and is about 200 feet by 16 feet in area. Here is a link to a Flickr set of artwork from 1999 to 2004:

    And some creations from last year:

  6. Next time you want to do some grafitti just make sure you don’t get caught drawing the box and doing the writing.

  7. re GHEDE, When I was a student at CMU there was a fence, appropriately named “the fence” which students in campus organizations could paint at night to advertise events (meetings, parties, etc.) You had to have someone guard it until dawn, or someone else could paint over it.

    There was a layer of paint between three and four inches thick on it.

  8. Here in Rio, near to my place, there’s a blank wall (well, it used to be blank) written on the top: “space for amateur graffiti artists”.

    Now it is almost full, but you can still read the writing clearly.

  9. When the one millionth article (about an otherwise-obscure Scottish railway station) was created on the English Wikipedia, there was talk (briefly!) about setting up a commemorative chalkboard. I like this idea better.

    BTW, there’s a section of floodwall in St. Louis, just south of the Arch, that was graffittied each year in an annual event called “Paint Louis”. The event was huge, and the work was very impressive, but the city put an end to Paint Louis in 2000.

  10. And so this is different from the grafitti you see in public bathrooms, on garden walls, busses, trains, public buildings, private buildings, underpasses, overpasses, here, there, and everywhere else?

  11. Lod – In this case, it’s expressly permitted and encouraged. That’s how it’s different. To do that to something that is traditionally very counterculture both adds and subtracts a lot of meaning.

    “Traditionally counterculture.” Now that’s a paradox for ya.

  12. There are some very beautiful old buildings in the market downtown in my city. They’re used as shops, and they have big rolling garage-style doors to be closed at night over the actual storefront.

    Some have murals on them, painted by local kids years ago.

    The ones with murals have never once been vandalized.

  13. @25 – Murals are remarkably resistant to graffiti – most graffiti is filling a blank, and murals aren’t blank. There’s a great little garage-door Matisse in Bristol that’s survived a decade or more in a really skeezy area.

    @23 – Of course, that’s assuming that the initial frame and caption are legit, and not graffiti themselves. Vide Banksy :)

  14. I’ve long planned that if I ever owned a building in an area prone to graffiti that had an appropriate wall space I’d do something similar.
    I have wanted to take it one step further and get a plaque made up that essentially says “This wall is an authorized graffiti zone. I, the owner, give any and all the authority to decorate it as they see fit.”
    If anyone gets arrested/fined for graffitiing it I’d show up in court to tell the judge they were doing it with my authority.

  15. @27. Beg to differ. At least here in Seattle, mural aerosol art is not resistant to graffiti and tagging. Seattle is home to some brilliant large scale murals that have been defaced constantly and not on so-called blank spaces. Would love to take a baseball bat to the little (regardless of chronological age these will always be little, small minded people) shits. Aerosol art can be a wonder. Graffiti is often political or social/cultural commentary. Tagging is just shitting on people. In this specific case, fine if the owner so allows. But the only thing interesting or valuable in this is the framing and setup. Otherwise, a square full of turds.

  16. @PIXEL: Ever heard the phrase ‘Attractive Nuisance’? If they want to fuck you over, they will…

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