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> A Letter to the Editor

A Letter to the Editor

Here's the complete text of a letter to the editor that I wrote. It was published in the Daily Camera on April 5, 2002.

Your article on graffiti (March 31) made me mad as hell. My heart, unlike yours, does not bleed for the poor, oppressed graffiti artists of the world, and I strongly object to your attempt to glamorize them.

I will refute you by making two points.

First, the title ("Art or Vandalism?") is entirely misleading in its suggestion that the two are exclusive. It's certainly true that art can be produced within the medium of spray paint on walls, just as it can within any other medium; nevertheless, damaging the property of others is still vandalism. Perhaps in your next article you can discover the aesthetic value to be found in a well-executed burglary.

Second, your choice of examples of graffiti is not representative. Some graffiti, it is true, is pleasing to the eye, and you certainly did a good job of ferreting out two examples of such. However, I spend a lot of time walking around town, and in my experience, the vast majority is not so pleasing; is, in fact, nothing more than the quick ugly scrawl of a dog marking its territory.

If people wish to produce art with spray paint, more power to them, as long as they can find an appropriate place for it. As for the rest, I hope that we will continue to erase it unmercifully.


  See Also

  On Graffiti

@ May (2006)