Someone defaces the MFA

Boston Magazine reports somebody went around the outside of the MFA spray painting bad renditions of Homer Simpson - including on the base of "Appeal to the Great Spirit" on Huntington Avenue.

Ed. question: Anybody notice the explosion of graffiti along the Orange Line from Forest Hills to just past Back Bay over the last few months?



    Free tagging: 


    Well, that totally sucks. I

    By on

    Well, that totally sucks. I thought most taggers would respect the MFA. They might as well go after Trinity Church or the Old State House. Normally, I don't really have a problem with graffiti as a form of free expression or protest, but between this and the guy who went after the vintage trolleys a few months ago, I am forced to come to the conclusion that most graffiti artists are just self-important, narcissistic and cowardly a-holes.


    Good point

    Because two douchebags definitively represent "most" graffiti artists.


    Grafitti is

    By on

    vandalism and destruction of property. Nothing more, nothing less.

    So please stop trying to justify this crime by calling the perpertrators "artists".


    Graffiti is art

    Graffiti is art.

    In precisely the same sense that punching someone in the mouth is dentistry.



    By on

    It's only the complete tools who do stuff like this.


    Banksy is pop artist like

    By on

    Banksy is pop artist like Bieber is a pop singer. Neither are serious artists with a great deal of talent. Sorry!


    Damned apologist!

    I had the best photo walk through an extensive open air 'gallery along the Fitchburg Line in Somerville.

    There's lots of scary eyeball guy stuff

    I got about 70 new shots glorifying these talentless hoodlum miscreant whipper snappers.

    Let the Harrumphs flow like some old man's river.


    You'd have to show

    .evidence of talent first.

    Besides Cambridge will pay for stuff at my building if I fill out forms and find someone with a clue.

    Can you do something like this ?

    Or will it just be some taupe, beige and mauve Neo Harrumph from the mid Preparation H period?.


    Sillly wabbit, it's not *your* choice

    The entire point would be the substitution of my design aesthetic for yours and the appropriation of your property as my canvas. So no, you don't get to decide whether you like my talent or not.


    You are already up to your ears design aesthetic squabbles. Let me know when everyone figures out the sidewalk problems.

    Then we'll discuss it.

    I got plenty of candidates nearby, hell the not art dipshit is down the street and even he thinks my building is too crappy to tag.


    Dude, I was doodling shit

    By on

    Dude, I was doodling shit like that in high school. However, I was doing it on a notebook THAT I PAID FOR. If you filled out a form from Cambridge that allowed you to do your territorial pissing against some wall, you got permission from someone, so good for you. The question is, do you condone what this spaz has done?

    Leonardo DaVinci could paint the Last Supper on the side of my house, but I would still shit down his throat because IT'S NOT HIS TO PAINT.


    No I don't and I don't even paint stuff

    ..beyond the usual navajo white on some hall wall.

    A bit of reading comprehension skill would cover you there.

    And Cambridge does fund people who actually do paint stuff on walls of businesses and such when everyone is happy about it.

    I go around and take photos of it all when I find it.

    And the 'street' stuff I photograph is almost exclusively on concrete highway and railroad bridge abutments as I must have mentioned several times.

    So there,

    Now be careful you don't blow a gasket.

    Surely you must have some better outlet for outrage and heated sputtering,

    We do have planes getting shot out of the sky, several wars, lotsa wretched poor people, crazy wealth inequality, traffic from hell and a limping T system.

    Surely in your hierarchy of outrage options you can find something less pitiful than this or it must be a real slow day over in outrage-ville.

    No Problem with Graffiti

    When you say that you don't "normally have a problem with graffiti as a form of free expression or protest," does that mean you're OK with the application of this form of expression/protest on one's own property or on property where the artist has secured the permission of the owner? Or does your neutral stance extend only to property that isn't "vintage," architecturally, or historically significant, regardless of ownership and/or permission? I guess I'm asking because, although I don't consider myself particularly self-important, narcissistic, or cowardly, I'd like to express something. Also, I have a couple of cans of Krylon and I'd like to know where you live.

    It does seem a tad conflicted.

    I got a milk crate of Krylon cans some idiot left in the rear basement. I'm waiting for toxic crap day at the DPW to get rid of em.

    The bridge footing wall convention is everywhere. I was just working on my files and I have striking color blasts on bridge concrete in Andover, Boston, Hanson, Weston, Needham, Marblehead, Watertown, Waltham, Cambridge, Somerville and Wellesley.

    I probably will end up with some from Dover before the year is done and I have plenty from Dover NH.

    I thought I was the only one

    By on

    I thought I was the only one that noticed that!!! I said to myself maybe the graffiti was there all along but I failed to notice. But it is just too much too fast.


    A couple of big bombs between Green and Ruggles, lots of tags. Looks like a bad late 80s movie. They're definitely new, because all the previous large grafitti bombs were painted over by the MBTA about 4 years ago, and only a few small things went up until this recent spate.

    You're attempting irony,

    By on

    You're attempting irony, right? Because you couldn't be suggesting that athletes don't watch video games and thus don't commit crimes. Hey kids, get high on sports (and performamce-enhancing drugs).

    No, if children spent more

    No, if children spent more time playing organized sports (or any productive organized activity) during the summer time, they probably would commit less petty crimes like this

    Please answer the question

    And this one too: what is too much free time?

    If you think "free time" is the problem, I'm betting you aren't a parent.

    Judgement and self-control have a hell of a lot more to do with it than free time. And, guess what: it is difficult to develop good judgement and self-control without ... free time!

    See also: European school systems that whip our puritan arses (Finland, France, etc.)


    This whole street art thing

    is all about judgement and self control to a degree.

    Mucking up the sacrosanct MFA is obviously criminal by most tort standards of 'harm' .

    A desolate concrete footing under a bridge over 93 may be construed by some as lower down on the harm scale.

    And scouting out such a place at least indicates they are thinking about the harm problem.

    But there will always be idiots, just like with this urban exploration invention or skiing the head wall at Tuckermans.

    In the exercise of discovering judgement and self control, some of us monkeys will always make a hash of it and a few pay with shorter lives.

    Not to mention

    The most obnoxious taggers seem to be 27 or 32 years old = not children.

    I don't think there are summer camps and sports programs for that lot.


    That's when the male humanzees

    ..start to get really anxious about sexy time and jump through increasingly goofy hoops with ever more elaborate lamp shades on their heads to get a female humanzee to say yes with reliable frequency.


    By on

    Video games actually take time to play ... So your initial argument is invalid.


    Yeah, if only the kids would get out there and strive to be just like a star Pats player we wouldn't have all this senseless violence and thuggery.

    Oh wait.....


    Speaking of graffiti, whats

    By on

    Speaking of graffiti, whats up with that long dog-like thing with all the nipples that is sprayed on side of the roof near Chinatown/ Tufts Medical Center? Its overlooking Mass Pike and facing old Herald building. Boy is that thing ugly! Its been there for a while too.



    It amazes me that in this age of constant surveillance that folks can get away with something like this in this particular area. They have cameras everywhere.

    I wanted to throw up when one of the piers at the Longfellow got tagged with an at least 5' high tag pretty much in the middle of Storrow Drive. Not surprisingly, some other yahoo then proceeded to tag the other side. And then yet some other folks tagged a bunch of parapets on the public side of the bridge. Right over the snow fence and weeds. Guess that's less for us to clean later. I still wonder how many people watched it happen on those big tags in such a high traffic area.

    Graffiti anywhere really isn't cool, but when you tag landmarks (or historic trolley cars, eg) I'm in favor of taking a can of spray paint and the person responsible and...


    And the talent/skill of the tagger

    By on

    always seems directly in reverse proportion to the aesthetic value of the area tagged. I'm generally anti-graffiti but I can appreciate the skill and artistry of some graffiti artists (check what's going on at Bartlett Yards in Dudley for some amazing stuff). Often it seems like an opportunity to claim--and in a weird way enhance--a spot that's really neglected and ugly. But the folks who throw up stupid tags on historic granite or a brand new bridge parapet seem to be the talentless amateurs who really have nothing to contribute and should really just stay home and decorate their algebra notebook. I hope they bust this idiot and make him scrub it clean with his tongue.


    Yeah, I was just

    ..walking the most god forsaken rail wasteland in my neighborhood, the old Fitchburg line that has been crapping up the corridor since Thoreau had a shack next to it.

    It is as grim industrial as it gets and yet the stuff is vibrant and a lot of it clearly took skill and effort and it gives commuters from Acton and Concord something to look at as they face yet another day in Boston Cubicle Hell or whatever it is they have to do here.

    The concrete footings of bridges seem to be favored spots and it's pretty hard to make em look any grimmer and crappier than they already are.


    By on

    Wouldn't it be interesting if it turns out the perps are from the Museum School, or perhaps their arch-rival Mass Art.

    A better bet

    The perp is one of those coddlespawn from a wealthy exurban community - like that young man from Dover who had seen only light sanctions in his hometown. His parents freaked out when he was caught in the city and the Roxbury judge wasn't terribly sympathetic.



    I was roommates with a college kid from UNH last winter who was a Banksy wanna be.

    Upper middle class family from the same area as Ken Burns and Tom Rush

    The 'gallery' I just traversed looked like a fairly challenging work area. They probably go on Sundays.

    Nice coinage, by the way... coddlespawn.

    I'll avoid glomming it out of respect.


    A Museum School kid tagged

    A Museum School kid tagged historic sites in Venice about 20 years ago. I was traveling there right after it happened and it left me feeling very stabby.

    BTW it was definitely a Museum School student; same style & tagger name he used in Boston. He was doing an exchange program at Scuola Internazionale di Grafica.

    When does graffiti become art

    By on

    When does graffiti become art was debated in the opinion section of the NYT on July 16.
    The consensus among the academic experts ( 3 out of 4) was it is young cool and creative... let it happen. The people submitting comments disagreed mostly and thought that it was vandalism.

    Vandalism versus art

    By on

    It's art when it doesn't deface some else's property. It's vandalism when it does.

    Wasting Their Paint

    By on

    What is especially hilarious is those graffiti artists, who are mostly narcissistic, could just do the same spray paint job on a canvas and likely some of them would sell. Not to Banksy levels of $ mind you, but hey it'd be a living.

    Well yeah,

    There is a fairly healthy visual art ecosystem in Somerville/Cambridge.

    When you have a robust array of local support funding options, you get this kind of fertility.

    And the local arts councils are most effective with visuals and are actually helpful here where they get more nepotistic and dicey as you get beyond these activist towns.

    It is very different from the old toxic gallery scene. Figure out a way to get your stuff to the public without getting busted or beat up, maybe even without making a pest of yourself and see what happens.

    It kind of bypasses curators and heads for the public which is cool.

    There is a very impressive array of public art forms throughout eastern MA.

    I don't really use flicker all that much but I have elaborate album sets over at my G plus world.

    I think of digital media stuff as like reality vacuums. video and still, are the critical elements of content.

    So I have commissioned formal art with a sculpture album, a mural album, street art and a mobile album, no less.I'm making a visual inventory and trying to convey a sense of this place to people all over the world on a granular level.

    I'm just about to load an extensive set of that Seaport sculpture garden and the funny little bronze trains to convey fan pier.

    It beats bickering about sidewalks and taxes.

    In terms of lawyer parsing yes

    ..but in terms of art biz no.

    There are many cases where the same people are painting stuff on bridge abutments and getting paid to put stuff on someone's building as alien as this all may be.

    And the reason they are getting paid is because someone saw something on the bridge abutment.

    It's an ecosystem with nuances rather than a mechanism.

    Cambridge even has an alley dedicated to a dead friend, Rico Modica, in Central Square that is for constantly changing street stuff.

    Your best bet is probably to stick to the perfectly reasonable knitting of .. 'idiots who muck up peoples property suck' ..whether it is with a can of spray paint, broken bottles from a drunk asshole or a lawn job.

    I have maintained the same position myself and surely will again without wasting time on aesthetics.

    False dichotomy

    By on

    I think this is a false dichotomy, when people fight about whether graffiti is art or vandalism. I think something can be art (a Monet painting), or vandalism (that time a drunk Red Sox fan snapped off my car antenna), or both (graffiti), or neither (my left elbow).

    To me, graffiti is art and vandalism. It can be beautiful or confrontational/challenging or derivative or inspirational or vapid at the same time as it destroys or damages someone else's property. Just because it's artistic doesn't mean it shouldn't be illegal... and just because it's illegal doesn't mean it can't be an artistic achievement.