Friday, March 13, 2009

Northside graffiti crackdown

Looks like the MPD is "cracking down" on graffiti in the city, especially on the north side. They've gone so far as to release a summary police report on 8 recent arrests.

The report also trumpets "Graffiti is a 'quality of life' crime the MPD will continue to focus on. It is hoped these arrests will serve as a deterrent to others."

Read the full report here.

Thing is, I'm actually against the stupid, scrawled tagging style of graffiti (the stuff that any joker with a paint pen or permanent marker could make). My take is that they're pointless, obnoxious, ugly, and give a bad name to the kind of street art we should be encouraging--ie: the kind of stuff I try to post here.

If we want to make real progress in convincing the crotchety official types to allow for more public art space, one of the things we have to do is make some effort to cut down on tagging that actually damages property. There are a lot of negative, misinformed attitudes to overcome, and we need all the high ground possible to do that.

At least, I think so. Feel free to argue a different point. And be sure to stay alert while you're out there, kids. The MPD is on the we've-totally-got-our-priorities-in-the-right-place prowl.

(photo by Sean Future on Flickr)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Graffiti in Madison is just like it is in any other city, for every good graff artist there is 20 little kids running around with stock caps and sharpies. I dislike the ugly throws and tags put up by those with little experience, but the fact of the matter is, in most cases, it's still self expression, and in my opinion art. Knocking tags all together is just plain ignorant, because you're claiming that it's damaging to property just because you don't like the way it looks. It's entirely opinion based, and if you're going to embrace wheat pastes and stickers, you should be open-minded enough to embrace the graffiti aspect (although occasionally unsightly) as well. Tags by experienced artists take just as much thought and creativity as a piece, and should be treated as such.

I do agree with you about the MPD's priorities though. A friend told me recently that you can get more time for graffiti than for rape, because it causes more financial damage. Sickening.

Just my two cents.