Graffiti is a crime and is not meant to be a reflection of other peoples’ feelings and opinion, it’s just a piece of graffiti which looks like it’s put where you might see it.
To quote graffiti artist and artist for hire Jonathan Harker, ‘the law doesn’t define ‘cool’. I have to define it’.
If you want to know what is the ‘cool crime’ you can visit the website of the National Association of Graffiti Prevention and the National Graffiti Index.
What do you say to someone who says ‘graffiti is a criminal act’ or ‘we have a right to do it’?
There’s a huge difference between graffiti, vandalism and crime.
Graffiti is part of a culture which is part of the community.
Anybody can get into a place and spray it, but that doesn’t mean that that’s the way you should do it, graffiti is a form of expression.
I will say ‘this is vandalism’ before it is vandalised as it has a name. You can’t say ‘a crime’ as if it has been done by a criminal, that’s why I prefer the word ‘graffiti’.
When I went to prison, the first thing I did was go to a graffiti museum and I’m still looking at it today.
Graffiti is always an expression as well as part of a culture and there is always a way for people to express it. We are the ones who choose what we’re going to do.
How do you help your graffiti taggers?
If you’re not doing graffiti, then help.
You know, when I go to graficomartin (an art dealer) or a Graffiti Shop in town to purchase my piece of artwork, if you’re not tagging, don’t buy that artwork because that is a crime.
You can’t afford it, you should ask someone on the street for money.
That’s the best way to do it. If you know someone is really doing it and is putting you in danger, take them to the police or to the police station and have them interviewed for a crime report before buying.
What are those people doing around the city that are doing it badly?
I think, really in terms of graffiti, it takes a few years between people’s first and second tagging as you get more sophisticated.
One of the graffiti I did was called ‘
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