Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Weapon in Any Other Hands

One recent morning walking Inez, I came across my favorite example of graffiti. Ever.

If there's such a thing as tagging fatigue (and let me tell you, there is), here it is in technicolor. This guy is fed up and worn out, so sick of being a target -- as corner houses often are in this neighborhood -- that he's claimed the tools of his enemy and used their own tactics against them. This is such wonderful touché moment that I like to think of it as holding a mirror up to the taggers and reflecting them back at half their natural size.

In reality, most people walking past this house have probably branded its owner a fool: If you deface your own property, the gangbangers have won.

But I disagree. I think it's a masterstroke. It talks back to ruthlessness. It sings as it screams. If Ionesco were around, he'd write a play about it.

This guy is mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore, and he's putting the vandals on notice. I hope for everyone's sake they're paying attention. I certainly am.


Diana Sudyka said...

I agree: an angry masterstroke. I wouldn't have the guts to do this to my house, but I admire his method for calling out cowardly taggers.

Lynn Stevens said...

If I were an artist, I'd re-purpose tags into fabulous art. They seem to respect others' art.

A friend recounted a story of some other friends who, after a long night of partying, would come home earlier in the a.m. to tags. Before even going to bed, they would paint over the tags. The taggers only got about an hour of fame and glory at that house.

tracy said...

This is amazing! But also frustrating that this is what he's had to resort to...