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SF Graffiti taggers could face a much bigger price tag

 

Graffiti taggers could face a much bigger price tag

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Graffiti-taggers-could-face...

Graffiti in San Francisco is a mess - literally and figuratively. That's not a scoop, it is merely a discouraging reality.

It begins with the city being a mecca for spray paint vandals from across the country. (Check YouTube.) It continues to the criminal courts, where, when taggers are finally caught red- (or yellow- or green-) handed, they are generally treated as misguided youths and given community service instead of meaningful punishment.

And then there's the final insult. Property owners who have their buildings tagged - sometimes daily - are ordered by the city to clean up the mess themselves or face a fine or even a lien on their property.

"It cost me $15,000 to clean up my building last year," says Laurance Mathews, who owns the building at 245 Van Ness, which, ironically, houses a paint store. The Department of Public Works had a mural painted on his building to try to stop the tagging, "but since they did the tagging increased from a few times a week to several times a day. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it."

A new strategy
Well, maybe there is. It's just a start, and Mathews is skeptical, but Supervisor London Breed has announced a citywide graffiti plan that might begin to turn the tide.

SF Takes Aim at Graffiti Vandals

SF takes aim at graffiti vandals, tries to lessen burden on victims
Posted by Joshua Sabatini on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Supervisor London Breed has introduced legislation targeting graffiti vandals; police made 203 graffiti-related arrests in 2013, most of them adults.

San Francisco’s $20-million-a-year graffiti problem has seemingly caused more problems for victimized property owners and public agencies than for the vandals.

But now the City Attorney’s Office could be allowed to go after graffiti vandals in civil proceedings that would force them to pay for the damage and perform community service.

Supervisor London Breed and other city officials say the current process does not work and penalizes the victims, since property owners must remove graffiti within 30 days or face fines.

“We estimate that over 90 percent of the graffiti offenses are committed by the same people,” Breed said Tuesday, when she also introduced legislation to address the issue. “The criminal courts have proven an inappropriate medium for prosecuting such offenses.”

Additionally, Breed’s proposal has come with an agreement from city departments to provide more resources for the effort and collaborate. The Police Department, Breed said, “will have an additional crime analyst and a police officer on an as-needed basis so that they can develop these particular cases.”

A Parodist Who Calls Himself Hanksy

A Parodist Who Calls Himself Hanksy
By JOHN LELAND
FEB. 14, 2014
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/16/nyregion/a-parodist-who-calls-himself-...
The street artist who calls himself Hanksy, on Orchard Street in Lower Manhattan with his piece “Walter Flite.” Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

This is a story about art in the age of social media — about anonymity and self-promotion, about feral cats and viral cat videos.

In April 2011, a law school dropout in Bushwick, Brooklyn, newly arrived from the Midwest, had an idea that he thought might make a splash. He admired the street artist Banksy; he grew up on the movies of Tom Hanks. Why not mash up the two? Using simple computer software, he downloaded a Banksy painting of a rat holding a paint roller, then added an image of Mr. Hanks’s face. The whole thing took 10 or 15 minutes to create. He printed a cutout and pasted it on a wall at Mulberry and Kenmare Streets in Little Italy, signing it Hanksy. It was a stupid pun, he knew, but he was a sucker for stupid puns. Isn’t everybody?

He photographed the wall for his Instagram and Twitter accounts, and emailed it to the Wooster Collective, a popular street art website. Then he went to sleep.

“And then it just went viral,” Hanksy said the other day, speaking in a Lower East Side coffee shop near the restaurant in which he is a partner. “I remember counting at the time that it had been tweeted to four- or five-million accounts.”

The Not Art Stencil is Meant to Inspire Wonder

The ‘Not Art’ Stencil Project Is Meant to Inspire ‘Wonder’
The tagger responsible for one of the most prominent outdoor art stencils talks about his motivation behind the paint.

By Steve Annear  | Arts & Entertainment  | January 20, 2014 3:01 pm

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2014/01/20/not-art...

Some people view it as a message that calls attention to bland, often ignored objects in plain public view, while others have said that it’s pointless tagging that merely defaces local property.

But it’s that conversation between two sides of the argument, and the confusion that leaves people wondering what it means, that the creator of the “Not Art” stencil wants to happen in order to make a human connection based around his project.

“It creates this dialogue and gets people thinking. I feel like I have built something that works. I didn’t know if it was going to work at first, but it works,” said the Somerville resident behind the stenciling, who asked to remain anonymous.

The “Not Art” tag can be seen in numerous places in the Boston area, including along stretches of Mass. Ave. near MIT campus, emblazoned on construction signs in Back Bay, and splashed prominently on the abandoned gas station marquees near Somerville’s McGrath Highway.

In each setting, the artist said he relied on turning temporary objects—those found at construction sites or decrepit, abandoned pieces of property battered by the weather and left to decay—into the centerpiece for each individual artwork.

Stencil graffiti practically legal in NYC - if you're white and wearing a suit

 


I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look Inside the Justice System

By Bobby Constantino
Left to right: A snapshot of the author's graffiti; a "selfie" of the author, dressed in his suit and tie and ready to vandalize; a surveillance video still of the work in progress (Bobby Constantino)

 

This article available online at:

Stencils in the Shadows: Two Artists on a Mission

Stencils in the Shadows: Two Artists on a Mission
Devin Holt, SF Weekly
link: http://blogs.sfweekly.com/exhibitionist/2013/11/stencils_in_the_shadows_...

The house on San Jose Avenue was perfect. There was plenty of sidewalk out front, and enough light to see clearly from the streetlamps overhead. With a couple of quick glances up and down the block, the pair set to work. They laid their handmade outlines down on the sidewalk, adjusted them to assure proper alignment, and then pulled out a spray can. The stencils were painted with a few quick hisses, and everything was packed back up in less than a minute.
Three messages now looked up from the sidewalk. "Tu Casa es Mi Casa," "The New Mission: Haute yet Edgy!" and "Tenants Here Forced Out."

The house wasn't chosen because of its ample sidewalks, but because of the occupants. It was the home of René Yañez, a Mission district artist known for his work at Galería de la Raza, and for bringing the famed Dia de los Muertos celebration to San Francisco. Yañez is currently facing an Ellis Act eviction.

It's places like this, pivotal scenes in the city's ongoing culture wars, where "Stripe" and "Estrillata Jones" leave their stencil art.

Exclusive: An Interview with Banksy

By Keegan Hamilton Wednesday, Oct 9 2013

http://www.villagevoice.com/2013-10-09/art/banksy-better-out-than-in-new...

"Confidential."

That was the beguiling subject of an e-mail seemingly randomly addressed to the Village Voice in mid-September.

"I represent the artist Banksy," the message began, "and I would like to talk to you at your earliest convenience." The name and phone number of a British publicist followed. There were no further details or explanation. It was mysterious and intriguing. The secretive graffiti artist had been silent since last year, when his distinctive stencils appeared in London during the Olympics. Because Banksy rarely grants interviews, the cryptic message also felt like the prelude to an elaborate practical joke.

A few minutes of sleuthing confirmed the identity of the publicist, Jo Brooks, who represents several British artists (not to mention Fatboy Slim), and turned up evidence of her professional relationship with the elusive stencil master. A subsequent message from Brooks revealed more: a draft of a press release announcing that Banksy was on the verge of unveiling an audacious new project: The artist intended to create one new piece on the streets of New York each day in October, a "unique kind of art show" titled "Better Out Than In." Billed with the tagline "an artists [sic] residency on the streets of New York," the show was to include "elaborate graffiti, large scale street sculpture, video installations, and substandard performance art."

Brooks promised the Voice an exclusive interview with Banksy, who "feels an affinity with people who provide quality content for free on street corners."

Elusive graffiti artist accessorizes for work

Original (with photos) here: http://blog.sfgate.com/cityexposed/2013/10/06/elusive-graffiti-artist-ac...

“She found us. She came in here and asked for permission. She’s taken over,” said Anissa Malady, the center’s librarian, who has watched the artist’s work evolve for the past two years.

“She is definitely a San Francisco eccentric,” Malady said. “I’ve never seen any other street artist in high heels.”

She’s known as Eclair Bandersnatch – the last name is a fictional creature in several Lewis Carroll works, elusive and hard to catch. They’re traits that San Francisco’s Bandersnatch also possesses.

1,000s of Stencils Mark Peace Day on Normandy Beach


Haunting reminder of millions of lives lost in war as artists stencil 9,000 bodies onto Normandy beach to mark Peace Day

British led project covered the famous coastline in poignant silhouettes
A team of 500 artists and volunteers contributed the moving installation
The 'fallen' were left to be washed away by the tide at the end of the day
By Aaron Sharp

PUBLISHED: 08:05 EST, 23 September 2013 | UPDATED: 12:20 EST, 23 September 2013

Source (and more photos): http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2429903/Peace-Day-Reminder-milli...

A pair of British artists have created this stunning installation of 9,000 silhouettes on a D-Day Landings beach to mark international Peace Day.

The project, named, 'The Fallen' is a tribute to the civilians, German forces and Allies who lost their lives during the Operation Neptune landing on June 6, 1944.

The design was the brainchild of Jamie Wardley, 33, and Andy Moss, 50.

Together with a team of volunteers the pair travelled to Arromanches beach, Normandy, to create the silhouettes, which were individually drawn into the sand.

Graffiti Conference Seeks Public's Help

Graffiti conference seeks public's help
S.F. CRIME
Neal J. Riley
Published 4:51 pm, Thursday, January 17, 2013

Graffiti is a more than $20 million-a-year problem in San Francisco, and though city officials put out a call Thursday to eradicate graffiti blight, there's still disagreement on how vandals should be punished.

At the first Zero Graffiti International Conference, hundreds of people from around the world gathered at St. Mary's Cathedral to discuss fighting graffiti and browse products to take spray paint and markers off any surface.

"Graffiti vandalism is a drain on our city's resources, impacting our neighborhoods and quality of life," said George Gascón, San Francisco's district attorney. "We ask the public to help out by reporting graffiti crime."

Split over penalties

Mohammed Nuru, the Department of Public Works director, said his agency takes an average of 3,000 calls a month about graffiti and has seen an increase in tagging on trees and artists' murals.

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