Graffiti Images, Art, or Nuisance

reno

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I don't get this notion that graffiti can be "quality" or "better than a blank wall" , and who judges what "quality graffiti is?", this is vandalizing things that are not yours without the owners permission. I have seen a beautiful granite arch bridge near me beautifully and painstakingly constructed by Irish immigrants in 1872 spray painted with all sorts of crap over the last 15 years. Charlie MTA, I agree this is like the end of civilization. But I'm over 65 so what do I know.
 

kjdonovan

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Something like that would be nice. The fact is that, though there's minimal tagging culture in Cambridge and Somerville, you only need, like, one guy. Consider the below which is one guy hanging off the Medford Street Bridge working on his tag for an hour or two ten years ago. Now I see it every time I walk past the bridge.
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The tags you see on the new GLX retaining walls are also all by one guy, who probably lives a block or two from the tracks.

Somerville has a pretty good anti-graffiti program where they clean up almost immediately after the tag is made. A gentler form of broken window policing. One of the most consistent examples of this work in practice is the pedestrian underpass from Ten Hills to Assembly. Regularly tagged and then power-washed/painted over. These walls will be state property and if the highway noise barriers you see around the state are any indication, anti-graffiti measures are less of a Commonwealth priority.
 

Hubman

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I don't get this notion that graffiti can be "quality" or "better than a blank wall" , and who judges what "quality graffiti is?", this is vandalizing things that are not yours without the owners permission. I have seen a beautiful granite arch bridge near me beautifully and painstakingly constructed by Irish immigrants in 1872 spray painted with all sorts of crap over the last 15 years. Charlie MTA, I agree this is like the end of civilization. But I'm over 65 so what do I know.
I personally love graffiti and the way it looks on blank walls, but I understand how people who own those walls would get pissed off with people spray painting them.
 

JeffDowntown

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I think Underground at Ink Block, with its commissioned street art (one step removed from graffiti, and of course planned and authorized) demonstrates how effective wall art on these types of civil engineering structures can be. So far the installations have resisted tagging as well. 🤞
 

Suffolk 83

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I think Underground at Ink Block, with its commissioned street art (one step removed from graffiti, and of course planned and authorized) demonstrates how effective wall art on these types of civil engineering structures can be. So far the installations have resisted tagging as well. 🤞
Low skilled taggers make the art form look like a blight- highly skilled taggers add positively to their environment, IMO
 

BostonTrainGuy

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Low skilled taggers make the art form look like a blight- highly skilled taggers add positively to their environment, IMO
What right has anyone to put their "art" anyplace they want including places where it definitely isn't wanted?
 

Arlington

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Right or wrong, visionary or myopic, we have private property and trespass laws that govern some of this, and we have public art programs to try to address the rest. I hope they will have a good program for green (ivy/moss) coverings on rough surfaces and murals on smooth surfaces
 

Suffolk 83

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What right has anyone to put their "art" anyplace they want including places where it definitely isn't wanted?
Technically they dont but people do things everyday they don't have the "right" to do. Not writing this in the scrolls over here- I understand my opinion wont be widely accepted by the type A train guy community.
 

Charlie_mta

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Technically they dont but people do things everyday they don't have the "right" to do. Not writing this in the scrolls over here- I understand my opinion wont be widely accepted by the type A train guy community.
I'm an old guy (71) so I always try to be careful to not impose a template on this world from 50 years ago. Things have obviously changed, as they have always since the beginning. I guess I just see some deterioration on manners, civility, respect and order in the country as a whole, and I see graffiti as part of that. The pandemic has made the disorder piece of that worse, but on the other hand it has been a positive wake-up call, So I'm hoping that we'll all pull through this current phase and get back to a more unified and civil country. Bottom line is, I see graffiti as a sign of a deteriorating civilization, a heightening of disorder and chaos. That's just my take as someone who's been around for a long time and is probably looking a bit too harshly at the present.
 

Ruairi

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I'm an old guy (71) so I always try to be careful to not impose a template on this world from 50 years ago. Things have obviously changed, as they have always since the beginning. I guess I just see some deterioration on manners, civility, respect and order in the country as a whole, and I see graffiti as part of that. The pandemic has made the disorder piece of that worse, but on the other hand it has been a positive wake-up call, So I'm hoping that we'll all pull through this current phase and get back to a more unified and civil country. Bottom line is, I see graffiti as a sign of a deteriorating civilization, a heightening of disorder and chaos. That's just my take as someone who's been around for a long time and is probably looking a bit too harshly at the present.
Do you really think it's that much worse/different to the 1980's?
I'm 44 and don't think I've noticed a trend either way. For as long as I can remember there has been crappy tagging interspersed with one or two more complex pieces. In fact, with the exception of stenciling, the style hasn't developed much at all over the last 40 years.
I'm not saying it's right or acceptable but I do think it's inevitable in an urban environment. Graffiti ally in central is a great idea and I'd also say that people won't tag over other art so in a weird way graffiti is partly responsible for the increase in public murals.
Maybe they can pick a few weekends before the GLX opens and have supervised graffiti artists paint the walls for free. That way at least the inevitable graffiti won't be terrible.
 

bakgwailo

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Do you really think it's that much worse/different to the 1980's?
I'm 44 and don't think I've noticed a trend either way. For as long as I can remember there has been crappy tagging interspersed with one or two more complex pieces. In fact, with the exception of stenciling, the style hasn't developed much at all over the last 40 years.
I'm not saying it's right or acceptable but I do think it's inevitable in an urban environment. Graffiti ally in central is a great idea and I'd also say that people won't tag over other art so in a weird way graffiti is partly responsible for the increase in public murals.
Maybe they can pick a few weekends before the GLX opens and have supervised graffiti artists paint the walls for free. That way at least the inevitable graffiti won't be terrible.
Let's also be real - graffiti has existed for a very long time, even going back to the Roman days (Pompeii's graffiti is rather amusing). I would also put sanctioned murals/graffiti in a different ballpark, and would love to see some stuff like there is on the Neponsit River Trail on the retaining walls. Also generally against graffiti myself, but, hey, if the T could get a couple of Banksy's, maybe we could pay for the extension to Porter.
 

JeffDowntown

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Let's also be real - graffiti has existed for a very long time, even going back to the Roman days (Pompeii's graffiti is rather amusing). I would also put sanctioned murals/graffiti in a different ballpark, and would love to see some stuff like there is on the Neponsit River Trail on the retaining walls. Also generally against graffiti myself, but, hey, if the T could get a couple of Banksy's, maybe we could pay for the extension to Porter.
We need more Roman style graffiti.
 

Blackbird

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I don't get this notion that graffiti can be "quality" or "better than a blank wall" , and who judges what "quality graffiti is?", this is vandalizing things that are not yours without the owners permission. I have seen a beautiful granite arch bridge near me beautifully and painstakingly constructed by Irish immigrants in 1872 spray painted with all sorts of crap over the last 15 years. Charlie MTA, I agree this is like the end of civilization. But I'm over 65 so what do I know.
There's a lot of graffiti in Berlin, even in nicer neighborhoods like Prenzlaurberg, Kreuzberg, Schoneberg. I agree that it's better than a blank wall; makes a city looked lived-in. I might draw a line at explicit images, but the usual scribbles are hardly apocalyptic!
 

Charlie_mta

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Maybe they can pick a few weekends before the GLX opens and have supervised graffiti artists paint the walls for free. That way at least the inevitable graffiti won't be terrible.
Before any kind of wall paintings are undertaken, there must be a public meeting of the local community. Also, I doubt if anything like organized graffiti or paintings on the walls was addressed in the NEPA document for the project. There will have to be public involvement and an addendum to the EIS before any major visual modifications to the walls are made. Retaining wall paintings would have a significant impact on the community and thus require significant public input and environmental documentation..
 

Charlie_mta

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A few isolated panels in a station are far different than miles of graffiti painted on retaining walls.
 

jlichyen

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Finding a local artist or even local schoolkids to make murals along the retaining walls would be the best approach, because
1. it gives local buy-in to the neighborhood ("we made these walls, and so we'll put value on them" kind of thing)
2. an already-painted surface is less likely to be tagged, and more risky/dangerous to the tagger should they be caught
 

JeffDowntown

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Isn't it going to be challenging to do anything to the retaining walls (other than perhaps a few examples in station areas) because this is an active rail corridor?
 

found5dollar

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The issue with murals painted on walls is that you need to have funds to keep them up. When I was in grad school we looked into doing our final scenic painting project on a retaining wall just like this one, but the city said no becasue we would need to not just supply the art but also thousands of dollars to build an endowment for the murals up keep. Graffiti artists dont care about any of this bureaucracy and just make what they want. Good for them. Have at it.
 

reno

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I know this is off topic and giving the criminals publicity, but graffiti in a natural setting that I was referring to is vulgar (see attached picture) so where do we draw the line? Please explain the justification for this desecration.
 

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