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‘When Man-Children Weep’

How hard is it to just buy your own canvas?

Ed Driscoll


November 23, 2013 - 12:00 pm


The New York Times brings you this great moment in responsible journalism. A warehouse owner in Queens repaints his own building to eliminate the layers of graffiti that had accumulated over the years. Naturally, the Times sides with the vandals:

The owner of a building in Queens used a crew of painters to work overnight and paint over graffiti on a warehouse in Long Island City, wiping clean a canvas that was used by thousands of artists over the years to transform an otherwise nondescript, abandoned brick building in a working-class neighbourhood into 5Pointz, a mecca for street artists from around the world. By morning, the work of some 1,500 artists had been wiped clean, the Brobdingnagian bubble letters and the colourful cartoons spray painted on the building’s brick walls all covered in a fresh coat of white paint. “We are supposed to be the vandals, but this is the biggest rag and disrespect in the history of graffiti,” said Marie Cecile Flageul, an unofficial curator for 5Pointz.

It’s not your property, so yes, you are the vandals, and “disrespect” isn’t a verb. And why does the Times tacitly approve of a sexist slur such as “rag?”, by not commenting on it?

Blogger David Thompson, the author of the brilliant headline quoted above and the italicized portion of the Times article in block quote adds, “The moral of the story, gentlemen, is buy your own canvas.” One of his commentators notes another moral aspect to the story:

And it’s worth noting where the New York Times’ sympathy seems to lie. I suspect that anyone who’s had to repair their property after a visit from graffiti “artists” might take a less charitable view. Unless of course we’re supposed to believe that of the 1,500 sprayers and their various sobbing cheerleaders not one has ever sprayed someone else’s property, and that championing graffiti as an edgy art form doesn’t encourage more of it?

At an L.A. museum exhibit promoting the “artistic” “joys” of graffiti in 2011, City Journal’s Heather Mac Donald was ordered not to add a few additions of her own by the museum’s security guards. Similarly, it would be a fascinating thought experiment — and this is NOT an attempt to encourage such an effort — to find out how the Times would respond if someone fired up a can of Krylon on the walls of 620 8th Avenue.

But shed no tears, Gray Lady. With far left incoming mayor Bill de Blasio taking office in January, it’s only a matter of time before downtown Manhattan will once again have more graffiti than it knows what to do with.

(Via SDA.)

Cross-posted from Ed Driscoll’s blog

Blogging since 2002, affiliated with PJM since 2005, where he is currently a columnist, San Jose Editor, and founder of PJM's Lifestyle blog. Over the past 15 years, Ed has contributed articles to National Review Online, the Weekly, Right Wing News, the New Individualist, Blogcritics, Modernism, Videomaker, Servo, Audio/Video Interiors, Electronic House, PC World, Computer Music, Vintage Guitar, and Guitar World.

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--“We are supposed to be the vandals, but this is the biggest rag and disrespect in the history of graffiti,” said Marie Cecile Flageul, an unofficial curator for 5Pointz.--

You are the vandals and saying this is the biggest "disrespect in the history of graffiti" is truly humorous. OTOH, if this thing was known around the world the warehouse owner did blow a pretty good marketing opportunity. Still, he has left the field wide open for The New York Times, whose shiny new $850 million tower on 8th Avenue can be considered a 52-story blank canvas. Go for it hipsters!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Cover the outside of a museum in that stuff and suddenly reality comes to pay a call. That's why the term "political correctness" is just another word for "hypocrisy." The fact so many adults in America indulge themselves in it shows how far I.Q.s have dropped in a half-century.

Art is in the eye of the beholder I guess but I always thought those classic forms of graffiti were poor designs with worse color palettes.

I'm expecting it to be the next great wave of typography as the Marching Morons progress and ransack the West. Can you just see those designs from that photo on every web site, book and magazine cover?

It'll go well spelling out "Would you buy that for a quarter?" and at the inaugural ball of President Honey Boo Boo.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Not long ago a city council in Australia destroyed a Banksy graffito with neighborhood improvements. The proper people (clay-footed, self-absorbed progressives) were incensed. Graffiti by its nature is temporary (unless you use a chisel). That's part of the 'art'. Here today gone tomorrow to be done again. Just like real life. Tough for some to come to grips with.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mr. Driscoll, you've missed the best part......

The building owner had the building whitewashed as an act of compassion, for the building was slated to be demolished. The whitewash was like a blindfold so that these sensitive souls wouldn't have to see their precious children dismembered over the course of several weeks. Moreover, the building owner has offered the walls of his new building to the 'street art' community, but they're being rather sniffish about accepting this particular olive branch. When you have a righteous proper snit - why waste it??2?.....XPPPP............
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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