Some people like to imagine that taggers are artists or are somehow simply protesting “The Man”. Horseshit. I’ve made my share of art and been part of more than a few protests. Ai Weiwei may have defaced historic Chinese vases with paint, but they were his. He didn’t go to another artist’s studio and steal or vandalize their work.
Taggers are thieves stealing our public spaces and sometimes destroying works of public art. The tagger BAS is a thief whose “work” I saw yesterday. My first reaction when I saw his theft above was to wish he* was present so I could kneecap him. I have since calmed myself into a more reasonable state. However, I remain convinced these taggers are thieves at best and gangsters at worst. I don’t know how long it took the artist here to create this work, but that time has been stolen from her or him and the enjoyment of this work has been stolen from the whole community.
Lest you think I am against actual artistic expression on blank walls, I assure you I am not. There is some great graffitti art on hoarding in Regent park north of me and I have seen some from the train in industrial areas and other odd places around town. However, the real graffitti art is thin on the ground and thieving taggers are endemic. When you first learn to write your name, your parents are very impressed. When you write on the living room wall, not so much.
Taggers change your ways!
* I’m just guessing the tagger is a he, but I’ll bet I’m right.