City Journal Winter 2016

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Winter 2016
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Matthew Hennessey
What Vandals Call Vandalism « Back to Story

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Perhaps the grafitti artists should take a lesson from the sand-painting monks of Tibet and Bhutan, who make these incredibly beautiful, intricate, multi-colored paintings of colored sand, and the moment they are done, they run their hands over it, "destroying" it completely. Thereby, illustrating the impermanence of all things. Perhaps a lesson worth learning.
Okay, so here's a capitalistic graffiti story. Once upon a time, there was a crummy low-rent part of Miami called Wynwood. A greedy developer bought a whole bunch of ugly warehouses there and invited graffiti artists to paint on them. Surprisingly beautiful art was created, and soon Wynwood became a chic, hip place attracting artists and other trendy folk. Property values soared into the stratosphere and beyond.

Interestingly enough, when I visited Wynwood Walls, the beautifully painted complex at the heart of Wynwood, one of my favorite graffiti pieces had been painted over and a new painting was in progress to replace it. Obviously Wynwood Walls' owners periodically refresh the paintings on their buildings. Strange that this is not desecration but progress.

My photos of Wynwood Walls, taken yesterday:

Two takeaways from this:

First, if you work with graffiti artists sometimes you can produce awesome art that actually improves your neighborhood.

Second, property owners have to have the right to dispose of it as they please. The same market forces causing these guys to whitewash their walls also cause Wynwood Walls to be periodically renewed for the pleasure of its guests.

I have to assume the walls were whitewashed in this case because they wanted to avoid the even nastier reaction once the buildings went down ...

I do not understand. If the medium you choose for your art is grafitti, then part of it is that your art is ephemeral. It will be covered, destroyed or defaced.

The hipster trash who see it as some kind of 'art of the struggle' are idiots.

Real grafitti artists see all that white paint as a new canvas.
And New York City takes yet another step in becoming a completely sanitized yuppie playground. A 400 million dollar high rise in LIC? There goes the neighborhood and a new group of displaced peoples.
The graffiti artists of New York City are the have-nots of Saul Alinsky, who are in turn the ideological posterity of the Bolsheviks of the Russian revolution. Together, they are the descendants of the covetous barbarians who are always encamped beyond the moat surrounding human civilization, waiting there in siege mentality for opportunities to destroy art, beauty, commerce, and industry. They are part of the same, anti-social collective who follow the attitudes of their namesake, the Vandals, who vaulted city walls to inflict fiery brutality upon the defenseless citizens inside. All together, these transgenerational low-life comprise the original environmental movement, opposed in principle and deed to any sign that the Earth is not wholly their own to inhabit, define, regulate and control. They are lower-case communists fresh from the prehistoric, Edenic wilderness, but without the innocence of savages who survive by following the tempo of their DNA. Our modern Vandals are a step closer to civilization because they live in one, and are actutely aware of the laws they are breaking in their pursuit of architectural revision. Their sociopathy is ideological, a kind of political protest against the legitimate, family authority that forms the base of human civilization. Although they deny their unyielding conspiracy to destroy human civilization, they nevertheless weep in sorrow when their ugly smears and blots are erased from city walls -- by the owners of the walls. That they are currently homeless and destitute in New York City, or occupying other property in the name of civil rights and equal opportunity, alters neither their profound antisocial intent, nor their hostility toward the family values at the core of Western civilization.
The Greedy capitalists" quip had me laughing. Funny (and ironic) that it should come from lazy, no-talent hacks who consume 10 dollar chocolate bars, 7 dollar lattes, 8 dollar mustache wax, 2700./mo lofts and 14 dollar omelettes. They're walking billboards of crass capitalism (well their parents are - they probably bought the stuff) - ipods, iphones, American Apparel, PBR, etc.

I wouldn't mind so much if they actually had jobs that meant something. What the hell is a "creative assistant" anyway? How many artists (and I use the term quite loosely) can one community support?

David Dinkins days returns to NYC. I hope the crime increases exponentially. It will be fun to watch NYC delve into Detroit days.

Idiots never really look at history for perspective do they?
No doubt the spray paint used for the artwork was organicaly grown on communal farms and not produced in a nasty, greedy, capitalist factory.
ME, a property owner, painting MY building white is "murder, genocide"? What are these kids smokin?

They rail on "greedy capitalists", yet WHO has made the necessary investments in time, equipment, land, fixtures, etc, to employ those few who DO actually work? SOMEone did... or someone employed their Daddy so HE had enough money to support his renegade kid, living off the streets, or in "school" in New York so he CAN paint graffitti on someone else's property. Spoilt irresponsible whingey kids.
But yet another example of how the Left turns the world upside down.