Sunday, 8 March 2009

Street art - Ha! Some reasons for hating graffitists

Here are photos of the graffiti which have been placed on the walls of our house in the several years since I bought a digital camera.  The one on the left is last night's effort. Fortunately it was not very large, and it was still fairly fresh. Sounds like a dog's turds, doesn't it?

When a new one appears I clean it off immediately.
This can take quite a long time, and is a strenuous and difficult task, especially in the summer. I simmer and I seethe as I do it. It erodes sweetness of character, and breeds biliousness and acidic reactions, and poisonous thoughts of revenge.

It is often impossible to remove the scribble completely. If it is not removed shortly after it was done, it gets much harder to remove. The graffiti remover stuff must be sprayed on, given a moment to work, and then cleaned off. Of course, the graffiti paint then runs down the wall. For some reason it seems to become more resistant to the cleaning chemical, and is very difficult to eradicate. The wall then has to be sloshed with water. You need to use rubber gloves, as the chemicals cause skin damage. It is probably extremely inadvisable to ingest the spray.

It is generally done at night, and I have reached the stage that almost the first thing I do each morning is to check whether any new graffiti have appeared. All too often there is. Possible the local school children do it on their way to or from school but often the culprits seem to be visiting vandals who blitz in and deface numerous houses in many streets. One night I went out to a concert and on my return home at about 10.30 pm I noticed yet another offering - so there I was in the dark, with my chemical spray, buckets and Dr P's old undies, cleaning it all off.

Our street gets done regularly. An old lady of over 90, almost blind and quite feeble, lives in the house across the lane from ours. Her walls and garage door are permanently defaced.
I don't understand why the perpetrators think they are entitled to go around doing this stuff - nor why the spray paints are evidently so readily available. 

I'd love to pour hot tar on the mobile phones and iPods of the graffitists. Surely they could not object to reciprocal vandalism. Apparently if the graffiti is cleaned off immediately, the graffitists are deterred. I can't say I have noticed!

While I am so unpleasantly occupied in cleaning it off, lots of people walk past, and make sympathetic or helpful comments.  Graffitists  are seldom caught. Some of them allege that graffiti is an art form. Nothing remotely artistic has ever appeared around this area. 

Recently a girl got sentenced to a prison term for a graffiti offence. Of course, there were immediate protests that such a sentence was barbaric, unjust, etcetera. And the usual claims came out about graffiti being an art form which most of the mug public are simply too moronic and intolerant to appreciate. That's me all right. In my view graffiti are quite simply blots and blains on the urban landscape. 


Mary said...

When we bought our second house in the inner west it had rear lane access and a garage door. It had been "tagged" when we bought it. Someone advised us to not remove it as once something had been tagged it would not be tagged again. I must say it never got targeted whilst we were there!

Relatively Retiring said...

I sympathise greatly. These are assaults on your property, and it is right that the legal system should treat them as such if they ever catch the culprits.
However, my house was the subject of a serious attack, which was classed as 'Criminal Damage' and the culprits received fines. I am not particularly cynical, but I'm sure I will never see a penny of the compensation owed under Court Order.
It's easy to give up, so well done you for not doing!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you one hundred and ten percent. It's vandalising, no matter how 'arty' it may look. I don;t vare if it's the mona lisa, do not paint it on my property without permission, that's vandalism and trespassing and plain disrepectful. Buggers.

Anonymous said...

See, I got all bothered then! That should say 'don't care'. Sorry!

Pam said...

Oh, HOW I agree!!! I hate mess - litter, grafitti and so on. Life is messy enough just in the normal course of events.

Pam said...

Oops - got so cross I misspelt graffiti.

I always have trouble with that and broccoli...

Not that I write either of them very much.

persiflage said...

Mary, not removing tags does not work around here any more - those houses already tagged just get even more.
I didn't include all the graffiti photos, as I was still trying to work out how to position them. My visiting daughter helped out. I love the way the younger generation helps out. She also sorted out my printer problem, and saved me from having to read the manual and follow the instructions myself.
RR I hope you get your compensation. It sounded scary.
Perhaps we all hate mess because of spending so much time cleaning up other people's messes.

herhimnbryn said...

Up in the hills around Perth, we have concrete bus shelters. The local art centre set up a scheme for sshools and local artisits to paint them with an 'Australian' theme. The results are astounding, witty and in some cases very beautiful. So what is happening now? Ugly graffiti slashed across some of them....if these people consider themselves artists, it beggers belief that they can despoil other peoples works of art.

meggie said...

We detest it too! It cannot be called any type of 'art' when it is some small sized penis' idea of ego. We are lucky, we have a living front wall! Further along our street, the despoilers regularly 'excrete' with their evil paint, but I see the council, or someone paints it out, each time.