August 18, 2006

Signs Of Suffocation

In a recent Grauniad Edward Hammond gives the usual fluffy romantic graffiti-as-Art view of graffiti artists as "young men desperate to impose themselves on a world they regard as suffocating with conformity." As someone who lives in a neighbourhood where everything — cars, buildings, road signs, pavement, even the local trees — is tagged on a nightly basis, and where the average graffiti artist does it because everyone else they know is doing it (and that's all they know), all I can say is, Edward old boy, get out of the Art Ghetto and live a while in the real ghetto.

For those of us who have to live with it all around us (and have to try to get the paint off our windows in the morning), it's rarely rebellion or Art, it's mostly just an extended and deeply-teritorrial pissing match between a bunch of guys competing as best they can in their own rat race of signs… the ultimate in conforming.


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