Graffiti is an interesting issue. Some cities find it an eyesore, while others embrace its urban beauty.
The big question here is whether determining who does the best job of graffiti removal is a matter of taste or a matter of fact. I’ve seen some people who have conducted this study say that it’s all about opinion, and there are no right or wrong answers. But I disagree.
I think there are several basic facts about graffiti control that can be examined objectively to determine which cities do it better than others. For example, when you look for graffiti in a given city, how long does it typically take for you to actually find some? Is there a lot or a little? Does the city respond to complaints quickly? How many complaints are there in general, and how quickly do they get resolved? Do they just remove the offending tag or do they go after the whole wall? Are their resources devoted to prevention? These questions can all be answered objectively.
The ultimate answer in determining which city has the best graffiti removal program is which city has the least amount of visible graffiti on walls and other structures. This will be a matter of taste only if you ask people if they prefer to see more or less graffiti in their community, but in
A graffiti removal crew in New York City has to contend with a high population and lots of subway cars. Crews in San Francisco must work around the weather, and crews in Los Angeles have to worry about earthquakes.
The jobs vary from street to street, city to city and state to state. A crew from Los Angeles is called out to remove tags from the Hollywood sign. A crew in San Francisco cleans up the mess after a Giants game at AT&T Park. In New York City, a crew works on the set of “The Sopranos.”
Graffiti Removal Crews: How They Work
“Graffiti removal is a costly endeavor,” said Michael McKeon, a spokesman for the New York City Department of Sanitation. The city’s graffiti budget has increased from $9 million to $14 million in recent years.
The cost of removing a tag or mural can vary widely depending on its size and location, Mr. McKeon said. A standard-size mural can be removed for about $750, but if it’s on a bridge or some other setting that is difficult to reach, the cost can increase to $2,500 or more.
The cleanup after Hurricane Sandy showed how graffiti adds to the burden of debris removal. In an effort to help victims and prevent crime in hard-hit areas like Staten Island, the city deployed workers to power-wash buildings and remove unwanted graffiti — a task that took away from other post-storm tasks.
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In the end, I think that if one really wants to attack the graffiti problem, it’s best to address the root of the problem. Eradicating graffiti is no more than a band aid fix. It’s like getting rid of drug dealers in your city; it makes things cleaner and more orderly on the surface, but as soon as they’re gone, new ones just move in to fill the vacuum. Until we figure out how to address the underlying social problems that cause people to feel that vandalizing walls or selling drugs is a reasonable way for them to spend their time, there will always be graffiti and drug dealers, and no amount of effort put into removing them will ever be truly successful.
Graffiti art is a very broad term that includes many different types of artwork. There are many different styles, which are often linked to the time period and are then referred to as the graffiti ‘in that time period’. Street art is an evolving art form, and the styles often change in relation to the current state of society, for example, the rise in popularity of street art in London during the industrial revolution and the proliferation of graffiti during periods of political unrest.
Tagging is a ‘style’ and there are many different ways people tag/bomb. The style you choose can depend on what you want to say or convey or simply how you want it to look. You can write simple block letters, bubble letters or use a marker to create elaborate pieces. Some people do throwies, which is where they just throw a can of spray paint at a wall, whilst others spend hours carefully piecing together their work and adding colour with paint markers.
If you see graffiti on the street, what do you think? Is it vandalism or art?
If you think it’s vandalism, you’re not alone. Many people are upset about graffiti, and many cities have programs to remove it.
But some cities have decided that the best way to deal with graffiti is to let artists create it in certain areas — under certain rules. The city of San Francisco is one example.
The city even has a graffiti task force whose goal is to manage the process of removing graffiti while allowing murals and other artwork in designated places. The task force also works with the city’s public schools to teach kids how to paint legally — and safely.
Troy Lovegates, a British artist who moved to San Francisco in 2003, says he was amazed at the number of spray-painted tags he saw on buildings in his new home city.”‘I just wondered why everyone is so worried about it,” Lovegates tells Weekend Edition guest host Jacki Lyden. “And then I realized they were everywhere. It was hard not to be fascinated by them.”
Lovegates applied for a permit from the task force, and began creating his own work on walls around the city. He painted portraits of local residents and created murals
Someday my posterity will marvel at how much time I spent on this topic. Some of the most famous artists of our time have turned their talents to the graffiti medium, and many of the most talented writers have published books about it. In fact, some of the most famous writers in history were graffiti artists.
Tagging is an art form that is often associated with vandalism, but this is a common misconception. Tagging is writing your name in public places. It can be done legally or illegally, with permission or without. It can be as simple as signing your name or as complex as a full body mural on a subway wall.
Tagging is usually considered illegal because it violates someone’s property rights. However, it has been shown that some local governments have chosen to selectively enforce their graffiti laws in an effort to discourage tagging while promoting other forms of street art such as murals and mosaics. This apparent contradiction may be explained by the fact that many local governments have created programs that allow legal graffiti artists to paint murals on public walls under certain conditions and for a fee.
Some people argue that “tagging” should not be considered “graffiti” because tags are simple and lack complexity, but tags are merely a starting point for many street artists