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New York Times Worries About Shortage of Walls for Graffiti Vandals to Vandalize

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On December 7, 2013 @ 4:17 pm In The Point | 12 Comments

A decade of Tom Wolfe mockery should have brought an end to upscale liberal stupidity like this. But of course it never dies. And so the New York Times puts out a story “worrying” about where graffiti vandals will be able to spray paint.

The masked artist hovering over the Bronx sidewalk is but a phantom. The cinder block wall on West Farms Road near East 172nd Street, which for years was a gallery of graffiti murals, is gone, too… In January, construction is set to begin here for 237 units of about 1,300 apartments at modest prices in what is a marginal industrial area in West Farms. The demolition eventually will go one block west to Boone Avenue, whose warehouses and garages have long been a world-famous showcase for artists such as Cope, the Royal Kingbee and Skeme.

So cheap and affordable housing for minorities will replace graffiti. In crazy liberalville… this is a bad thing.

The gradual loss of these walls, like last week’s sudden whitewashing of 5Pointz in Queens, has street artists wondering where they — especially younger, less established artists — will be able to paint.

The same place they seem to be “painting” now. Other people’s property. Occasionally businesses hire them to throw up an ugly mural.

But like the New York Times, I am also deeply concerned about the lack of places for graffiti vandals to vandalize. Can I recommend that they explore using the New York Times Building at 620 8th Ave as their canvas?

It’s okay for the New York Times to offer up buildings in minority and working class neighborhoods to be vandalized. So why not help the endangered graffiti artist by letting them mess up their building. Considering how ugly the Times’ generic skyscraper is, it could use a few gang tags.

For J. J. Ramirez, an “original school writer” whose tag, Mico, covered subway cars and walls starting in the late 1960s, the implications are clear.

“The whole thing boils down to class warfare,” Mr. Ramirez said. “People all over the world are wondering why they did that to 5Pointz. My answer is, why not? Do we really think some landlord is going to give a damn about the culture of the working class? This was an art form invented by the children of the working class, not children with last names like Trump or Rockefeller.”

This really is class warfare. It’s about people with no class and people with class.

If you spray paint graffiti on trains, you’re not practicing an art form and you’re not working class. You’re the criminal underclass.  And while elitist liberals did not invent graffiti, they do subsidize it by buying it and promoting the laughable idea that “THUG4LIYFE” is art.

Here’s some of Mico’s authentically working class art. (This was not invented by anyone named Trump. It was probably invented by a bored Egyptian playing around the pyramids with some chalk.)

It’s like Rembrandt, if Rembrandt were blind, retarded and completely talentless.

“The writers’ community is concerned,” said Carolina Diaz, an artist who works under the name Erotica67. “A lot of the writers say they won’t have the freedom to express themselves. People might take art into their own hands, like it was back in the ’80s.”

If you need that translated from thug to English, they’re going to randomly vandalize things. Which they do already anyway.

Here’s a sample of Erotica67′s art/writing. It does consist of letters so it counts as writing and it vandalizes a subway station so clearly “people” are taking art into their own hands.

The murals are the only warm touch on an otherwise bleak stretch tucked between the Sheridan Expressway and townhouses that rose from the rubble of 1980s abandonment. Recent zoning changes paved the way for a large residential development planned by Signature Urban Properties. While the plans were met with some grumbling about losing the open-air gallery, Gifford Miller, the former City Council speaker and a principal in Signature, said the Bronx had more pressing needs.

“We have a lot of respect for the artwork,” he said. “But we believe the community feels strongly that affordable housing is critically important and will hopefully make this area safer, too.”

So the people don’t have a pressing need for graffiti? Shocking. The New York Times clearly disagrees.

Alfred Bennett, the Royal Kingbee, understands those needs. And though he makes his living doing artistic and commercial work, he says the dwindling number of walls will push younger artists to the streets. Already, the blue barrier that circles the lot on West Farms Road has been hit by local taggers.

Let us vandalize walls… or we’ll vandalize walls.

I don’t see an upside here except that giving them walls to vandalize makes a neighborhood look trashy, but supposedly controls the spread of graffiti.

That worries Wilfredo Feliciano, known as Bio, whose Tats Cru rules Hunts Point. Not just anyone can go into their turf, just as they would not paint somewhere else without letting the local artists know.

For years they painted murals on the Lower East Side, paying building owners up to $1,000 to paint ads and personal pieces. But over the last 10 years, he said, he has gone from 15 walls to only one, as most were replaced by upscale housing, restaurants or billboards.

“There are hardly any spots left in the city for graffiti writers,” Mr. Feliciano, 47, said. “It’s going to mean that everybody’s going to be fighting for space. And you know what happens if they don’t have space to express themselves.”

Wait… how can artists possibly express themselves without walls?

Why they would have to get some kind of indoor space and paint on canvas. And that’s not art. But wait…

Granted, he and his friends have a canvas nearby. Behind their studio is a full-size plywood replica of a 1980s subway car, which they cover regularly with intricate pieces and figures.

“We’ve been reduced to painting at the office,” Mr. Feliciano joked. “We can’t go painting trains at our age. At least this is easier in the backyard. And it has that shape we enjoyed in our youth.”

If Feliciano can somehow be taught to move from plywood replicas of trains to plywood and then canvas, why no one’s wall would have to be vandalized at all.

And this is what Tats Cru “art” looks like.


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