HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForumSkyscraper Posters
     
Welcome to the SkyscraperPage Forum.

Since 1999, SkyscraperPage.com's forum has been one of the most active skyscraper enthusiast communities on the web.  The global membership discusses development news and construction activity on projects from around the world, alongside discussions on urban design, architecture, transportation and many other topics.  SkyscraperPage.com also features unique skyscraper diagrams, a database of construction activity, and publishes popular skyscraper posters.

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local London > London Issues, Business, Politics & the Economy

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2011, 7:13 AM
bolognium's Avatar
bolognium bolognium is offline
bro
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: London, ON
Posts: 381
Smile Graffiti in London

I've decided to make a topic after reading the comments in the photothread. Since most of us appreciate urban places I'd love to hear everyone's opinions on graffiti.

I've become good friends with a few graffiti artists since moving into my building, and I'm finally wrapping my head around the graffiti community. The problem with graffiti is that all of the good pieces generally wouldn't exist without the terrible tags and vandalism. Tagging all over the city is a way for young artists to learn can control, practice their styles and discover the community. In many cases these are kids in their early adolescent years, and are not thinking about the consequences of their actions. Eventually some of these kids will get bored with tagging and move on, but others will stick with it and start developing real artistic talent. They'll start to respect other artists and think more about how their work will affect other people. For example, most adult graffiti artists won't bomb the front of a beautiful historic building. Instead they'll spend five hours creating something truly impressive under a bridge somewhere.

A lot of people (and police) view graffiti in black and white, and that makes it really difficult for a true community to develop. That's when legal walls, murals and other outlets such as indoor wall art take over. Unfortunately, there have been a few cases in London where legitimate commissioned murals have been buffed by the city (authorities deciding what's art?). Cities need to start accepting graffiti and instead start channeling it into appropriate areas. Let people go wild at skateparks and make it legal for kids to paint under bridges. Provide legal art walls in parks and public areas and encourage building owners to have graffiti murals done. The city should always fight against taggers and vandals, but a tremendous amount of talent is being wasted by treating the experienced artists like criminals as well. These artists aren't just good at writing their name, most of them can also work together to cover an entire building in an amazing mural. As is the case with the back of my building, the Boys' and Girls' Club and many other buildings around our city.

Parents who see their kid showing an interest in graffiti should encourage it. However, instead of letting little Johnny head out each night with a backpack full of rattling paint cans they should be setting them on the path of practicing in notebook and in the backyard on a sheet of plywood. After gaining experience at home, these kids will naturally gravitate towards legal outlets offered by the city. In the end we'll have a more colourful city and likely save money on the way.

I'd imagine there's a reason Montreal has such high quality graffiti in abundance, and I doubt it's strictly a talent thing. Here's a few off the top of my head:

- They have such a massive community that the authorities can't keep up with the pieces and basically prioritize their buffs/cleaning
- Its citizens appreciate the graffiti a little more, so good pieces stick around longer and begin to build up
- Laws are a little more lax so people feel more comfortable doing it

London definitely has its share of problem taggers, too. With the most recent outbreak downtown being "elle." This person has been all over the core, and has hit some really new areas down by the river (in some cases on decorative stonework). Now this is the type of graffiti I hate. This person doesn't care about graffiti art, he's strictly vandalizing property and encouraging more of its kind. In one spot they even wrote "elle. do you love me yet?"

The world of graffiti is really more complicated than people realize. There are many different facets and people, so it really shouldn't be painted with such a broad brush.

Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2011, 2:07 PM
Symz's Avatar
Symz Symz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Windsor, On.
Posts: 1,636
bolognium, hey, interesting thread and I'm kind of glad you brought this up. I'll try to keep it short and say that I do appreciate graffiti art BUT only if it's at least tasteful, or represent some actual talent.

I like the picture that you posted, it's decent art.

My BIG problem with graffiti is this. Where I live I've been seeing a lot of graffiti and it's more of the 'tagging' type. Some punk or punks is going around and just tagging EVERYTHING with the words 'THC' or 'PURE'. It's on front facades of newly stucco'd buildings, building walls reachable only by climbing the building next to it, on every damned light post I can see down a few main roads and pretty much on every sign I see.

This type of graffiti to me is garbage, nuisance graffiti. It has no artistic merit and looks like garbage, making the surrounding area look like garbage, it drives me up a wall I wish so much their little fingers will freeze off this winter.

On the other hand I think that a well done artistic urban graffiti mural is really cool and can really add something to an existing space.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2011, 2:11 PM
bnk's Avatar
bnk bnk is offline
પટેલ. કે ન
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: chicagoland
Posts: 8,022
Sorry not to read a word of what both of you has posted, but what is Banksy up to now a days?


Edit

Ha I thought the OP was from a real city. London England.

wooh for a moment here I thought that this thread was something important. Do you really need to capitalize the L in london canada ? It is good thing you live in DT london vs living on the side of it.

Ignore my comments made here, this is only a bout canada...





and here I am a simple man thinking you
Canuks were talking about real art.





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banksy
__________________
facebook

Last edited by bnk; Nov 26, 2011 at 2:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2011, 4:54 PM
Symz's Avatar
Symz Symz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Windsor, On.
Posts: 1,636
Wow, you just made yourself look like an ass.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2011, 4:57 PM
bolognium's Avatar
bolognium bolognium is offline
bro
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: London, ON
Posts: 381
It takes a pretty special person to wander into a Canadian Local and then start bashing the forumers because they're not from England.

Piss off, ass.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2011, 5:44 PM
Blitz's Avatar
Blitz Blitz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Posts: 4,038
I don't see much value in it. I have a hard time calling them "artists", in my eyes they're vandals who have no respect for others. I know cities have experimented with legal walls but in many cases this has resulted in a further spread of graffiti into the surrounding neighbourhood. Cities need to invest more time in cleaning it up as soon as it appears - if the vandal knows it won't last long they'll eventually give up and move on. I remember when I was first in Montreal I was shocked at how terrible the city looked because it was everywhere.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2011, 6:00 PM
MolsonExport's Avatar
MolsonExport MolsonExport is offline
The Vomit Bag.
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Liver & Onions
Posts: 21,419
It's bnk. He can't help himself.
__________________
There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know. -Donald Rumsfeld
Didn't you notice on the plane when you started talking, eventually I started reading the vomit bag?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2011, 6:23 PM
Snark Snark is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 336
Yes there are places where it makes a contribution - where it is in an appropriate location and well done. This is very rare however. Very rare. I can appreciate what you are trying to say bolognium, but I can agree only to a very limited point. I do fully agree that channeling it into something acceptable to the majority is the thing to do.

98% of the city-wide total of it is nothing more than defacement and vandalism of public and private property by a handful of adolescent-minded social misfits. It defaces property, makes the community look ugly, and most importantly leaves the impression to many that the neighbourhood is in decline and that undesirables are roaming the streets uncontrolled - and thus is a dangerous place. I'm afraid that the opening image only reinforces this argument: every point of opening on the building with the graffiti on it is protected by iron mesh or a shatterproof metal door. To people who are not familiar with this environment (which is by far and away most people) it screams "this is a very sketchy place". This may not even be the case with the location in the image, however show that image to a typical suburbanite who doesn't know much about inner city culture and the vast majority answer is going to be words like "ghetto", "scuzzy", and "I wouldn't want to be caught there after dark".

And this leads to the economic side of the issue. It has been unequivocally proven in study after study that "nice middle-class (or better) suburban folks" (with the money to spend) will not live in or visit a portion of the city that has been over run with graffiti and looks like "the hood". This phenomenon is not debatable. Their impression may be an over-reaction, but that's what it is nevertheless and they have the money, not the graffiti "artists". It can literally harm a neighbourhood economically if it gets out of control. It is why some cities declare war on graffiti - it can become an economic threat. It is why a few years back the police went to great lengths to catch the handful of individuals responsible for a large portion of the graffiti in the city.

Some people (not necessarily on this forum) have called this 98% "art" and "public expression" and somehow claim it a right of free speech - somehow similar to a free press.

I have a challenge to those types: I'll agree with that philosophy, as long as I can do the same thing to your home, car, television, computer, or perhaps tattoo "I'm a pussy" on your forehead. After all, if you don't like it, you can pay to have it removed, and it's my right to free expression.

And that's the crux of the issue: someone's personal belongings have been defaced and devalued. To remediate the damage, property owners must pay out of their own pocket or live with a devalued or ruined possession. That is in the simplest of terms, a crime committed by one individual against another.

Last edited by Snark; Nov 26, 2011 at 7:02 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2011, 6:54 PM
Symz's Avatar
Symz Symz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Windsor, On.
Posts: 1,636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz View Post
I don't see much value in it. I have a hard time calling them "artists", in my eyes they're vandals who have no respect for others. I know cities have experimented with legal walls but in many cases this has resulted in a further spread of graffiti into the surrounding neighbourhood. Cities need to invest more time in cleaning it up as soon as it appears - if the vandal knows it won't last long they'll eventually give up and move on. I remember when I was first in Montreal I was shocked at how terrible the city looked because it was everywhere.
@ Blitz, I contacted my local council member here in Windsor and made mention of the recent rise of graffiti in the Riverside area of town (where I'm located) and I got a reply that sounded very rhetorical and non engaging about how it costs municipalities thousands of dollars a year to clean up vandalism and that it's in part a private property owner's responsibility.

So basically it was a long winded way of her saying that I'm shit out of luck and it won't be getting cleaned.

I was a bit surprised. The councillor never even made mention of possibly getting the area policed a little more, or that maybe lack thereof could be a contributing reason to the rise in graffiti.

I was dissapointed and every day I still have to look at this useless crap. The strange thing though is the city is going through a process of 'beautifying major road arteries'. they are reconstructing all the medians along Wyandotte etc. yet the road itself is like driving over a bombed out afghanni road with graffiti on every light post and every 3rd or 4th building, how does that all make sense?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2011, 6:59 PM
Blitz's Avatar
Blitz Blitz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Posts: 4,038
^ I grew up in Riverside and still go back there a lot and I know what you're talking about. THC is actually a group of jackasses that appear to live in Little River Acres, it's not just one person. The cops have to catch them in the act in order to press charges though. Councillor Gignac should've referenced Windsor's relatively new bylaw that requires property owners to remove graffiti within 24 hours of it's appearance. You should contact 311 (either by phone or web form) - they're really good about documenting all complaints and getting it taken care of if it's a specific location on city property.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2011, 2:31 PM
Symz's Avatar
Symz Symz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Windsor, On.
Posts: 1,636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz View Post
^ I grew up in Riverside and still go back there a lot and I know what you're talking about. THC is actually a group of jackasses that appear to live in Little River Acres, it's not just one person. The cops have to catch them in the act in order to press charges though. Councillor Gignac should've referenced Windsor's relatively new bylaw that requires property owners to remove graffiti within 24 hours of it's appearance. You should contact 311 (either by phone or web form) - they're really good about documenting all complaints and getting it taken care of if it's a specific location on city property.
The owner of the local corner store @ Wyandotte and Thompson has already been quoted in the paper as saying 'I just spent over $10,000 on rennovations, I don't have any more money to remove all this spray paint'. They tagged his store front after it was completely re-done, poor guy.

I'm not sure what is involved in removing spray paint from stucco, or if they just cover it up, but it looks like shit.

The other main culprit is writing 'Pure' on everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.

This makes sense that 'THC' would be a group. My fiancee says she sees everything downtown tagged THC.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2011, 4:00 PM
Blitz's Avatar
Blitz Blitz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Posts: 4,038
That's the thing, any "art" that comes from these losers is overlooked by all the non-artistic tags that any braindead monkey could do. While I feel bad for the business owner (and I know exactly what building you're talking about), he should realize that he has a civic duty to maintain his property and the general appearance of the neighbourhood. Frankly, there are costs of doing business and this is one of them.

London has a bylaw that prevents spraypaint and markers being sold to minors, not sure how effective something like that is but it's better than nothing I guess. The other thing that needs to change is how the courts handle the morons when they are actually caught. They need to come down hard on them so all of their friends can see that the community won't put up with it.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2011, 12:09 AM
bolognium's Avatar
bolognium bolognium is offline
bro
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: London, ON
Posts: 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Symz View Post
My BIG problem with graffiti is this. Where I live I've been seeing a lot of graffiti and it's more of the 'tagging' type. Some punk or punks is going around and just tagging EVERYTHING with the words 'THC' or 'PURE'. It's on front facades of newly stucco'd buildings, building walls reachable only by climbing the building next to it, on every damned light post I can see down a few main roads and pretty much on every sign I see.

This type of graffiti to me is garbage, nuisance graffiti. It has no artistic merit and looks like garbage, making the surrounding area look like garbage, it drives me up a wall I wish so much their little fingers will freeze off this winter.
I completely agree with you. As has been said, this is likely a group of people (probably young and stupid) that are doing nothing but vandalizing people's property. The reason those types of tags can pop up everywhere over night is because it takes the person five seconds to write it. This is absolutely the type of graffiti that must be fought as everyone including true graffiti artists hate it. That form of graffiti gives the real artists a bad reputation (see Blitz' comments).

That's what I'm getting at with the whole black and white comment. There are divides amongst the community and they should be treated accordingly. All illegal tagging should be frowned upon and cleaned up immediately. As I mentioned in my first post, kids should be encouraged to tag and practice at home where it will not affect people's property. Once they gain some experience they can begin exploring legal opporitunities such as public walls and graffiti jams.

What needs to be understood is graffiti is not going anywhere. If anything, the graffiti community is getting stronger by the day. Cities everywhere need to start accepting that fact and embrace this young talent. They need to start putting money into more creative ideas and offer more venues for the real art to develop. A freshly cleaned/buffed wall is seen as a blank canvas inviting new graffiti of usually worse calibre. The artists that do care about their art will paint elsewhere as they want their piece to stick around. However, the vandals who take five seconds to completely ruin a wall couldn't care less if their shit gets cleaned up the next day. See what I'm getting at here? Buffing does not work. It's an old and outdated graffiti-busting measure. Buffing a wall in a heavily populated graffiti area will not keep it clean. However, an awesome city funded mural will stop the graffiti. It's been proven that people are less likely to tag over another person's art.

Here's the mural that's on my building (my bedroom window's at the left inside the moon ). The artists responsible for the mural up top are the same artists who did the graffiti at the bottom. That is grade-A street art right there, and the artists that created it worked for free. See how a city could become much more vibrant if the artists and officials could continue to work together to make more murals like this? The only cost for this massive building was for the paint, scafolding and a DJ. It was done about a year ago during a Car-free Dundas event and was an awesome success.


Source - CantThinkOfDopeName
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2011, 12:12 AM
bolognium's Avatar
bolognium bolognium is offline
bro
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: London, ON
Posts: 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snark View Post
Yes there are places where it makes a contribution - where it is in an appropriate location and well done. This is very rare however. Very rare. I can appreciate what you are trying to say bolognium, but I can agree only to a very limited point. I do fully agree that channeling it into something acceptable to the majority is the thing to do.
I don't think it's quite as rare as you think. Even our small downtown is chock-full of amazing graffiti if you're willing to look for it. The graffiti is all over our alleyways and rooftops. These are the only areas where it will stick around long enough to build up and become something special. Graffiti artists need a couple hours to create something they can be proud of, and the only opportunities for them to successfully do that are in obscure tucked away areas. That's where the legal channeling should come in. If the city started to provide more public avenues for the artists it would eventually have an impact. Skate parks, legal walls in alleys and parks, under bridges, etc.

As I said above, graffiti isn't going away and cities everywhere should start adapting their approach when fighting the issue. Continue busting the taggers and cleaning up their messes, but start allowing the real artists to showcase their work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snark View Post
I'm afraid that the opening image only reinforces this argument: every point of opening on the building with the graffiti on it is protected by iron mesh or a shatterproof metal door. To people who are not familiar with this environment (which is by far and away most people) it screams "this is a very sketchy place". This may not even be the case with the location in the image, however show that image to a typical suburbanite who doesn't know much about inner city culture and the vast majority answer is going to be words like "ghetto", "scuzzy", and "I wouldn't want to be caught there after dark".
While I understand your point, I don't agree with it. That iron cladding has likely been in place for the better part of a quarter-century, but that graffiti has probably been there for less than five years. That picture would look equally sketchy had that graffiti been buffed off of the wall. It would also look much less interesting. It's unfortunate that people would feel unsafe in this environment since it's only a step outside my hallway window and right beside one of downtown's greatest success stories, Heroes. I think that whole suburbanite feeling unsafe jazz is more their problem than downtown's. I see people complaining about our downtown being dirty and covered in graffiti, but that's generally how downtowns feel. In fact, I choose to live down here because of the graffiti, heritage buildings and grit.

Last edited by bolognium; Nov 28, 2011 at 12:29 AM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2011, 12:16 AM
bolognium's Avatar
bolognium bolognium is offline
bro
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: London, ON
Posts: 381
Here's some illegal graffiti underneath a bridge here in London. If buffed, this graffiti would likely return in a few short months (as you can see by the roller marks top left, it's been painted at least once). It's fairly average graffiti, nothing special, but it does add a nice splash of colour to an otherwise gloomy area. Should the city be pouring resources into a money-pit like under this bridge? Paying a worker to paint over this graffiti, only to have it innevitably return later that year. As you can see, once the graffiti begins to age people will eventually paint over it again, continuing the cycle. Wouldn't the money the city is spending cleaning bridges like this be better spent helping out a store owner who doesn't like graffiti and was just vandalized?


Source - CantThinkOfDopeName


Here's a legal wall in one London's back alleys just off of Richmond and King. As you can see, there's a lot more effort given to the pieces in this alley since it was completely legal. The artists were allowed to take their time and work in the light of day. This alley was a terrible mess before this mural (see the remnants of tags on the bricks above the mural?) If these building owners had chosen to go with buffing the old graffiti, tags and messy work would have absolutely resurfaced. Instead, they provided some spray paint and the artists happily did the rest.


[URL=http://www.flickr.com/photos/ndtphotos/] Source - Natasha Diane Photography

----

Here's an interesting little progression of a London artist that goes by Wade. He's been around for about ten years and is known for drawing female characters around downtown. The first image is of the back of my building. The rooftops are interesting since they have the most varying quality. There are people who paint up here to practice and be out of the spotlight (see the repetition of the pink piece on the left), but there are artists who come up here to do amazing pieces as well. Wade also did some practicing up here as you can see. With those two female characters being some of his earliest to my knowledge.


Source - Me

The second picture here is pretty self-explanatory. The dude's obviously become much better controlling his can and has added at least five colours to this piece. It's also at ground level in an alley where more people can see it.


Source - Mike Wood Photography


-----

Anyhow, great responses so far, guys.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2011, 2:55 AM
Blitz's Avatar
Blitz Blitz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Posts: 4,038
Of the photos you posted, the only one that I like is the top half of the building (from your 7:09pm post). Why couldn't they continue that nice mural all the way to the ground? I'm prefectly fine with commissioned murals to brighten up a bland wall but the graffiti in those photos doesn't do much for me.

I'm ok with the city painting over it from time to time, sure it will come back but you still have to send the message that you won't let them run wild and that it's unacceptable behaviour.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2011, 3:09 AM
bolognium's Avatar
bolognium bolognium is offline
bro
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: London, ON
Posts: 381
The reason the mural doesn't continue to the ground is so the graffiti artists could do a bit of their own work. While they're perfectly capable of doing a conventional mural such as the top half of my building, there needs to be a certain amount of compromise from both parties. It's fine if regular graffiti doesn't do anything for you, but that doesn't mean it isn't art. You're being entirely subjective.

Here's another building that was done by the same large group of artists, and on this building they didn't do any actual graffiti. It is strictly a conventional mural. I know for a fact that some of the artists that've worked on these buildings have curfews and have been involved in the crackdown on graffiti. But they still work on these types of walls to do what they love. It's really unfortunate that there aren't more legal opportunities like this for the graffiti community.

Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 6:04 AM
bolognium's Avatar
bolognium bolognium is offline
bro
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: London, ON
Posts: 381
Smile

Here's a small portion of a new mural downtown. It's basically the entire alley behind Grooves, Novack's, Goodlife HQ at Clarence and King. Once the alley's done I'll be sure to get some better pictures up.

The black and white Artfusion stencil is my contribution to the mural.



Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 1:21 PM
ForestryW's Avatar
ForestryW ForestryW is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Posts: 307
I love this stuff. It adds positive character to any city. Keep it up!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 3:34 AM
Whisper09's Avatar
Whisper09 Whisper09 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: London
Posts: 111
I love the idea but I also think there are bridges that need to be painted too! I would love the train tracks on Oxford near Richmond to be covered in different art pieces. I know it would be a little harder with the small trusses, and how the hell are you going to get up there?... But at least paint the darn thing and have legal graffiti shown in a better location.

BTW bolognium, yours and Yogi Bear are my favourites
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local London > London Issues, Business, Politics & the Economy
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 2:18 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.