Notes From The Vandals Themselves

 

due to the plethora of useless messages you receive from retarded angry taggers, id like to inform you on a few differences and standards that true writers hold deep in our subculture.
1. we hate taggers as much as you do nothing drives us more insane than seeing horrible tags all over the place.
   alot of what you consider disgusting and vile about what we do is due to these retards that are out for nothing but a little fame and destruction. in our community we look down on these kids. its kinda like a starting point every one goes through it and older writers try and help out the ones who are serious and show some potential.
 
2. there ARE unwritten laws in our community about what can and cant be hit.
   any respectable writer will not hit some ones house or someone's car. businesses we have problems with or high visibility areas are a different story. were not out to destroy you personal belongings. trust me we'd be just as pissed if some one did that to us.
 
3. real writers are out there to be the voice of the opposition.
  yes were against the system and i know you said no one ever told you what system we're against so your about to find out.
the system were against is the one put in place to break people down and force them into worker drones to feed the corporate machine. i know you hear stories about writers stealing paint for pieces but again thats those useless taggers who just wanna "get up" 
or are too young to legally be allowed to purchase paint. the rest of us go out and spend ALOT OF MONEY on supplies to offer our FREE art work to people. why do you think specialized paint is manufactured and sold all over the world? would it be profitable to start a business based around a product that only ever gets "racked" hell no! so why would any one do it? alot of us are livid at the fact our society is based around commercialism and were out to fight that. one free piece at a time.

 

4. think about all the people our free art employs.
  thats right, just think about it. all the people who go out and earn a paycheck buffing out shit WE payed to put up, all the people who work for the companies that develop products used to clean and counter graffiti, the guys out there who build our legal walls, the cops that get paid to stop us, and even YOU. yes YOU. you wouldnt have a website to run all those beautiful ads or even a foundation to work at with out us.
  this is a war, plain and simple and wars creates industries and jobs. the day we stop is the day all these aforementioned people lose their jobs. sure everyone else's taxes would drop but then everyone who woke up every day and played a part in dealing with us would lose their job and im sure the children of all these people would be pretty sad when christmas comes around and santa didnt bring any presents since mommy and daddy dont have jobs. 
  So i dont wanna stop this war and i know you dont either the longer i wake up every day and go out to get supplies to keep this up the longer all these people stay in business. YOU NEED US! WE DON'T NEED YOU. thats the part most of you will never understand and fail to think about. if every thing changed tomorrow and graff was legal every where id still be out painting every day no questions asked its not about the rush of the illegality its about the art for us 
also on the topic of violence related to graffiti:
im not a fan. this should never be a violent thing and most of it is caused by horrible tag gangs or just gangs in general. we disapprove of this highly. have you ever heard the phrase "one bad apple spoils the whole bunch" well weve got way too many bad apples but that doesnt mean were all horrible.
i hope ive cleared some things up for you and maybe you'll throw this up in the notes from taggers section or what ever but im thinking you probably wont or if you do you'll put your own spin on it but ill be saving a word for word copy just in case you feel the need to change anything. show you have some guts and post this as a legitimate response from the other side

-yours truly

 

Carroll Berg <cberg@meca.edu>
to Info@nograffiti.com
date Fri, Aug 22, 2008 at 9:10 AM
subject problems with your site


Hello,
Please take the time to read this, i wrote this paper that will help aide
your cause as well as mine. I am a graffiti artist.
I have a couple of things to say in regards to your website and your
cause.
Andy Warhol said, "Art is anything you can get away with". That is what we
do.
Also, we work in the shadows living and working in a symbiotic lifestyle.
We make on the streets, you destroy on the streets. With out us the Droogs
of Street Artists, you would cease to exist.
Also It is not Vandalism. Vandalism is a planned and specific act of
targeting. Most graffiti is not planned or targeted. it is just wanton
destruction.
i await your response.
thank you for your time
Carroll

vandal Kid <vandalkid88@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, Sep 17, 2008 at 1:31 PM
Subject: FUCK YOU
To: Info@nograffiti.com

RUN RUN RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN YOU CANT CATCH ME IM VANDAL MAN!!!!!!!! you fuckin guys and your website are pathetic  just give up bitches graffs been around longer than your moms bitches K05TIC UNO! SUCK A DICK YOU SUCK BALLS GIVVE UP!!!! ILL BOMB YOUR HOUSE BITCH!!!!!

 

rich bomb <antiblankwalls@gmail.com>
to info@nograffiti.com
date Wed, Sep 3, 2008 at 4:17 PM

im NOTa graff writter but most of the shit u r saying makes u sound
like ur huffing glue most of history is graffiti , mt. rushmore .
maybe native americans had a problem with white ppl carvesome dudes
face on there mt. nelson mandela was freed because of political
graffiti .ur jus afraid of things u cant control or it doesn't fit
in ur vision of a perfect world .if half of the ppl doing graffiti
weren't doing it, they would be doing drugs or dead and dont say its
not the same cuz it is and its been here since cave man egyptians and
even JESUS yes jesus did it too so ur not gunna make it go away. ps
get a fukin full time job and get off ur high horse

 

 

jason tyeryar <jasontire89@gmail.com>
to info@nograffiti.com
date Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 1:31 PM
subject thank you

to who it may concern.
i came across your site today and well let me say thank you. i used to write graffiti but stopped after i got arrested for unrelated charges and was put on probation. at the time i had my school, a very prestegious private school, my parents, and my friends all telling me it wasnt worth it. i started to believe them and eventually stopped graffiti all together. its only been a few months and after reading your site it has sparked something inside me that makes me want to go out tonight and bomb. ive relized that unless you have commited the crime itself you have know clue what it entails. its an addiction at its finest and it is the only truly freely expressed form of art. you, my family, my old school, and my friends have all been conformed into something your not and i almost was too, but your site was a wake up call, so while you sleep through the night ill be out and by the time you get up tomarrow morning to work your 9 to 5 in a fucking cubicle there will be one more piece of art to add to the biggest gallery in the world. blood money billionaires

 

rhys boxal <mave36@hotmail.com>
to info@nograffiti.com
date Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 9:19 PM
subject: you suck

how about getting rid of all the advertising shoved in our faces brainwashing us? or is that giving the money to the right people... you selfish sell-out bastards.

 

okay.. i agree with SOME of what you guys are trying to say... yeah, it would piss me off if somone painted my ride, too, but i don't think a tagger would go after a car.. that just sounds like random violence... what if the parents had some haters?? people do that kind of thing to each other.. don't forget that we're all human too, and it only takes a few things for someone to lose their cool and kick someone's ass or do something really stupid.. like spray paint some car windows.... i think you guys would make it more believable if you had some pictures...instead of saying "some guy and some lady who work and live here and do blah blah blah." and by the way, i am not a graffiti tagger or whatever the hell you guys want to call it. it's cool that u guys are trying to 'clean' up the town. i'm fine with that...really.. but take into consideration that this lifestyle, like all lifestyles, is a way of life. probobly not for some, but for most. what really interested me the most was when i read the FAQ section... stating that a man who was addicted to cocain stopped when he started tagging... and that's wrong?? well maybe he didn't pick the best of things to do.. but damn, he more than likely cleaned himself up... i know i'd rather spray paint a damn wall than sniff that crap. so, what lifestyle are you guys gonna go after next?? the guys who have lowriders?? that's a lifestyle... the kids who like to sing?? the kids who like to sketch art?? the folks who can dance? it's what they do, it's their lifestyle... i'm sure this may have stopped some folks from tagging, but rest assured... it's not going to stop. i guarantee it. it's a part of society and it will always be. i'd really like to be put into the 'letters from the vandals' section... i just got through painting my wall....                                                                                                                                                                               

 

Man, graffiti will never die! get it through ur heads! we re her eto stay, and u cant do any thin to stop us... we multiply like rabbits and continue doing what we like... we mite be vandals, but  u lot are a bunch of sad, pathetic whiners with nothin better to do than complain about silly graff. theres more important crimes in the world with which u should concern urselfs with! get a fuckin life!

 

 

Matt Malmlund <shinobicorg@sbcglobal.net>

I feel I should have my message put up onto your so-called "Vandal Letters" section of your site, in order to break a running stereotype that everyone opposed to your movement is an uneducated thug out to vandalize the community. Although I respect the integrity you have for making this blatantly whiny movement an authentic opposition to graffiti, I have to kindly disagree to your stance toward this issue!

It's obvious that every supporter of your organization feels victimized by graffiti because of personal property damage, but when you take everything into consideration, it's all about taste.  Graffiti is art to a generation trying to express themselves with no outlet.  A startling lack of legal graffiti walls has changed the name of the game for painters everywhere; it's now become part of the subculture to paint on illegal walls.  So if a shop owner wakes up to find that he now has someone's tagging name plastered on the side of his store, he will completely misses the art in it because he's become caught up in the hysteria that vandalism is against the law and therefore bad.  I can understand why people like Shop Owner Joe would be upset, but the solution is not to clean it all up!  In the eyes of most seasoned graffiti artists, they are making the world a more beautiful place, so when someone comes along and denies them respect by removing their art,
 they will simply continue to spread their message of art until it's become fully integrated with urban life (hopefully to a point where people can finally start accepting graffiti's role in society).  One must remember that society gets the vandalism it deserves.

I have read several articles about cities up in Canada who have started mural programs with convicted graffiti artists, leaving them with a legitimate method of expressing themselves, and everyone is happy.  Choosing to ignore that "vandals" are people too is merely creating tension between two parties, and adding greeting something that should be welcomed to the community with blind hostility.  In short, offer an alternative to graffiti, or let it be, but do not even attempt to do away with it completely.  You can take this from a straight-edge highschool student with a 4.0 GPA (enrolled in AP classes) and over 100 hours of community service registered to my name: you cannot stop graffiti.

 

Benni Lim <sleepyminus@gmail.com>

FACT: Graffiti is a threat to the government because the government does not make money off of it. No where in your website can I find a legit reason why I should be against graffiti. I'm not a graffiti ARTIST, but I assure you the majority of graffiti artist are not, as you like to call "vandals" Instead of the government using up $15-18 billion a year to destroy graffiti, why don't they fund D.A.R.E? Did you know the government stopped funding the one school program that teaches children about the dangers of smoking? Did you know that the government is using that money to fund the soldiers in Iraq? Is the government that afraid of a few drawings on a wall, they rather take money away from children? If anything I feel the government is vandalizing the children. And If adults really took the time to listen to kids, maybe we wouldn't draw on their walls. If you really care about developing children, maybe the adults shouldn't be ignoring kids.

 

Daniel Cohen <segdrc@yahoo.com>

Graffiti is an art and an outlet for alot of stress and other things that schools and government and stupid fuck ass people that run your site create in younger peoples lives. It will never stop and if you catch one of us three will take his/her place.

 

Kryptos 187-1-26 to Info

hello boys and girls; my name is "KRYPTOS".

now, i like all this silly shit you like to talk about on your website... because we all know graffiti is worse than people unable to afford condoms in afrika and many, many other worldly problems as such.

but instead of promoting space-to-graff-artist missiles, think about the consciousness of graffiti and its EVER PRESENT metaphysical expression!

graffiti needs not be on a wall or even with spray paint... GRAFFITI IS MOST COMMON ON PAPER WITH SHARPIES; or by kids on sidewalks with chalk. now... you do kinda sorta point out that not all graffiti is vandalism; but you need to make that point more clear to the ignorant and arrogant haters. WE NEED TO KEEP THE WORDS "GRAFFITI" and "VANDALISM" as seperate as possible. from ignorant media discussion we have myths about pitbulls (all of witch are not true: atts.org, badrap.com).

if we are able to spread a more possitive image of graffiti and its ancient begginings (song by KRS-One "out for fame") maybe this style war could take it to properly sanctioned parks and play a greater role in the community. WHO EVER SAID "ART IS BAD FOR KIDS"?

P.S.
"GRAFFITI" (without vandalism) HAS CERTAIN TACIT OR UNWRITTEN LAWS GOVERNING IT.
1) no tagging, etc. houses
2) no tagging, etc. cars
3) no tagging, etc. small businesses
4) possitive (with good taste)
5) artistic

if it breaks any of the first 4 laws call it "vandalism" or "vandalistic graffiti".
DON'T call it plain ol' "graffiti".

"I checked ya facts and ya syntax <~KRYPTOS~> a metaphysician wit a AK-47"
peace... kryptos-@hotmail.com

 

JEFF Devine <predicon_236@hotmail.com>
date Sep 23, 2007 2:58 PM

graffiti has nothing to do with hip hop. they are related but by no means is graffiti a part of hip hop. hip hop takes from graffiti culture but hasnt given back. i personaly write, and i find it offensive to see that you think it is about hip hop and rap culture. i dont listen to any rap and i personaly dont like it. so you should get a bit more informed about what your talking about before you get a whole site together to stop something which you know nothing about.And if i do believe, caps, tips, and nozzels are all exactly the same thing. your ignorance does not do any real justice. graffiti is something that goes back into the ages. only recently with the aerosol paints have things taken off. but you can look as far back into roman times and to prehistoric man for writings on walls. i belive that this wont stop. prohibition never worked. and anti graffiti net works wont ever work. so you should think of ways to deal with the problems rather than trying to eliminate them. people are always going to write on walls. so give these people a venue to get it out. get city vendors to endorse this kind of thing..use it as advertisement. this is a tool, graffiti is a voice, and it should be used to the full extent. you pump out these statments about how it costs billions of dollars to clean this stuff up..but you can build legal walls for much cheaper and reduce these costs by massive amounts. it just dosent make any sense to throw around dollar amounts and to complain about this problem. cause it can be contained aon controled. it jsut has to be done effectively. thankyou for your time. if you at all update your site please post this and see howmany writers agree and, from there work towards a common goal. this can be done. i am no vandal, i am in 4 year arts college and find that all art is valuable in the context of out lives. its the most contemporary of arts. thank you.

if this is posted i would like to be notified about it thankyou.

 

Redeem The Dream <redeemthedream@yahoo.com>


4/13/2007
As i sat on my couch, late at night, reviewing your website, understanding your philosophy, getting better acquainted with the material you use to broadcast your idea to your fellow group conscious, i was struck with many different emotions, thoughts, and topics of discussion. I find your websites "opinion", which each individual needs to realize, and i dont think you stress enough is, this is your opinion, it is in no way facts or clinically proven. I find many things in your FAQS section to be quite biast and purely opinion. For clarifying reasons i feel the necessity to "inform you" of your miscommunications. For example the 5 reasons that you have for why your children shouldnt do graffiti, could and do apply to anything; for example driving a car, i would like you to change the word graffiti to drive a car, each example works for that, or walking down the street, those are such broad and general could have would have situations. I could get an addiction to driving a car, crash get legal actions taken against me, ill lose money from my car crash, i would have driven dangerously! Another point, if you are painting a legal wall it then technically ceases to be graffiti and now becomes artwork it is now just letters painted on a wall, because graffiti is defined as any medium applied to a surface without permission, a legal wall has already given full permission. Thus to say that legal walls promote graffiti is completley untrue, legal walls promotes legal graffiti. Yet there are those who sees that legal art as an opportunity to paint apon illegal walls. The fault then lies within societies teachings, human impulse, and unintelligence, i dont understand how you disregard that all people have SELF CONTROL, graffiti is not at fault, it is our fellow citizens who lack SELF CONTROL, because a concept like graffiti, can not talk, or influence, it is merely an idea, an act of doing some thing. To bring Hip-hop as a result of graffiti is ridiculous, tell me the last mtv rap music video you saw graffiti in? yeah none. although graffiti is an element to hip-hop graffiti was an element to before christ roman life, why not blame the latin anti goverment graffiti from pompei in 20bc? i mean really how much true 1980's hip hop culture continues to day? there was no gangster rap in the 80's? Commercial rap in 2007 in no way portrays the act of graffiti or the graffiti life style. The closest thing to that so called hip hop graffiti is a video game call Mark Eckos Getting Up based on 80's graffiti artists released in 2006. Being a veteran graffiti artist legal and illegal, over the past 8 years i have gotten to understand graffiti, there is no certain life style, no certain race, no certain music, no rich, poor, white collar, blue collar lines, no age barrier, graffiti is done by any one and everyone, you will never be able to point out every graffiti artist. To survive in society i agree graffiti in unaccepted, it undermines every idea society has set up for us to believe, like whats pretty and whats not. I find no real artistic difference in a Picasso painting or a COPE2 New York Graffiti Piece, one is based on the lettering of words and both are based on self expression. Art is not defined, it is merely some degree of aesthetic value, if one finds something aesthetically please it is defined as art. Sadly enough, graffiti will never stop, for the reason people will always mark on things, its standed the test of time, graffiti style may change for example no more lettering or spray can use, but graffiti will find a new way, the true reason of graffiti? who knows its different in everyone, every one has there own reason for what they do. your quest to stop graffiti, is futile. i am not telling you to stop what your doing, good for you, i am just telling you that it will never completley stop, and i hope that you realize this. good luck in your quest. i expect a response to this being that i took time to write this and its from my heart and brain. i also would appreciate this in the letters from a vandal section. thank you for listening and taking my side in to consideration.

"SPA*ONER" LOS ANGELES VANDAL 2000-2007

 

Kellen Mayfield <kmayfield@sasweb.org>
date Dec 17, 2006 10:29 AM

i am just wondering why you guys hate graffiti so much. we are just artists who want to show the world our creativity. i know graff is used for gang turf markings but it doesn't mean taggers are in gangs. almost everything on your site is bullshit and that's coming from a 12 year old highly educated graffiti artist.

P.S. FUCK YOU!

Kellen Mayfield <kmayfield@sasweb.org>
date Dec 18, 2006 8:06 PM

sorry for being so angry about all that, but first off, the top of your site says the world hates graffiti, not true. second i really dont think a writer would go after a car, un less it was abandoned in some junk yard third, why waste your life trying to get graffiti to stop? it never will! i dont think i understand what is going on, i know. you are just one of the many who thinks graffiti is not a form of art, i dont do graffiti illegaly. people still look at me and my art like trash.i'm just wondering, if you fight vandalism, then why is your site just about how bad graffiti is? not about broken windows, trashed mailboxes,smashed flower pots, or any other common vandalism?graff isn't made from hate, it's made from love

 

BISHOPJ964@aol.com
dateDec 7, 2006 2:59 PM


Guys, seriously, you need to take the fork out from your anus's.
I mean, susre, some mindless twat will take it upon himslef to go write on someones wall or tag on someones car window, but you're missing out on the brighter side. It's a message from us to society. what would you rather have, one pissed off kid writing colourful, imaginative letters on a blank, desolate wall, or that same kid joining a gang and beating the living shit out of your child?
i know which one i'd prefer

P.S: www.seenworld.com look around that site and tell me graffiti isn't art.

 

KONG is SIK <kongissik@gmail.com>
date Sep 19, 2006 8:48 AM

To be completely honest, if it was not for graffiti, then i would still be selling your children drugs.
 

Nova Ofthe3DC <nova-3dc@hotmail.com>
date Sep 14, 2006 5:54 AM

Dear sir or ma'am,
Your website portrays both graffiti art and artists in an extremely negative way. You have called us artists thieves, vandals, and every other terrible thing you can think of, without focusing on what is actually true.
You seem to have the biased assumption that all writers tag on houses, cars, and other personal property, or that graffiti promotes hatred and violence and other negative things, but you're entirely wrong! A true graffiti artist can stick to these rules; 1) don't write on homes, places of worship, cars, apartments, or small stores; 2) buy your equipment; 3) don't use offensive or terroristic words or symbols ; 4) don't let your crew become a gang.
Also, I would like to make note of your "five good reasons to steer your children from graffiti:
1) Danger.
Yes, climbing to a heaven spot is dangerous. Yes, wandering around train yards at night is dangerous. But everything can be potentially life threatening in this world! Cross the street too quickly, you get hit by a car; lean out a window, you could fall; flick a light switch, you could cause a short circuit; fill up your gas tank, you can start a fire. At least writers (most of us) aren't doing what others do at that time of night; dealing crack, getting in gang fights, setting fire to houses....
2) Criminal records.
Yes, doing graffiti can get you a criminal record. But that's only because our art is being undermined as petty vandalism. And as for those who "rack" paint, they deserve to be sent to jail. I, as well as many other conscious writers, denounce the act of stealing. Any writer can go get a job and buy all the paint they need.
3) Antisocial values.
Not all writers are like the idiots you find on some generic graff forum. All you're doing in this case is judging all of us wrongly because of a few idiots who make graff look bad. Besides, a lot of writers have all four of those characteristics you mentioned:
- respect is shown by the way a true writer refrains from tagging a house or car, and instead opts for a place no-one has to look at (an alley, a skatepark, a rooftop);
- honesty can be conveyed in the emotion of a mural, as it can take a lot of guts to do art that shows what you are truly feeling, and don't try to say that we're dishonest because we won't admit to doing graff... the can't say that we do graff, because then we'll get pigeonholed the way we do on your website.
- caring is shown in the same way as respect. Caring and respect are essentially the same; if you care for someone, you will respect them.
- responsibility is shown in this way: most graffiti artists, when caught, will simply admit to what they've done, or make little effort to escape (unless they think they're invincible... but that's a whole different type of graffer)
4) Financial loss
Wrong again. Who the hell would spend that much money on attornies when you could just take the blame and move on? And as for the retribution fees... that wouldn't happen if graffiti would just be made legal. So blame the courts for that, not the kids.
5) Addiction
What better to be addicted to?! Are you saying that switching from cocaine to art is a bad thing? That is a true display of artistic passion, when you give up on such an addictive drug because you're having so much fun with your art form. As for the other half-literates who say they have "real low" self-esteem... that's probably either because 1) people like yourself make them feel terrible about themselves, or 2) because they already had some kind of emotional, familial or social trauma. Getting caught up in gang activity is not the norm for a true artist. And the same goes for the suicidal tagger... some of the most seemingly happy people in the world have commited suicide. You can't blame graffiti for suicide, don't be so narrowminded.
Another note must be made on your "sentiments of graffiti victims".
The woman who is 30 is obviously a nitwit. When you see graffiti, don't assume "gang violence". Assume "art"!
The 9-year old hockey player's father is obviously retarded. You can't drive your car because there's paint on the side? Drive your kid to the goddamn game, and then clean it later. Besides, that's not a graffiti artists work, as I mentioned earlier.
The people in their 40's who created art studios are true victims. Real taggers don't hit the fronts of buildings, they hit the backs and the alleys, where it doesn't matter or affect the image of the buidling.
Again, with the elderly couple, the act was not graffiti art.
With the high-school student, you did not specify where the graffiti was. It could have been in an alley, where it belongs (and is not destroying the community), or it could be on someone's minivan. Specific details are necessary.
As for the volunteer, I don't quite understand what he is talking about. Graffiti does display an aesthetic and an emotion; that's all it is about! The aesthetic beauty lies in both the style the word is written in, as well as the sound of the word. The full impact can be felt when you look at a well-styled tag or other piece of graffiti, and then utter the sound. "Akos". "ItsMe!". "Nova." The emotion is left up to the viewer, in most cases. If anger is the emotion it brings upon you, perhaps you are just an angry person. With most people, when they pass by graffiti, they pay no mind. If you were to say anything to those people as they pass you by, they would probably, once again, pay no mind, as that is their nature. And, with a content individual, a glance at a tag followed by an utter can leave one feeling mysteriously more content. Graffiti usually emphasizes what you normally feel inside.
As a writer, I am offended by the content of your website. Let it be known that graffiti is not the action of antisocials, anarchists or hate-bringers. Graffiti is the art of the streets. It creates beauty on normally ugly urban settings.
As was said by another graffiti artist: "Blank walls equal blank minds"
- NOVA of the 3-DOT CREW... 902

 

tbs390@aol.com
date Sep 1, 2006 8:40 PM

Hi, i would like to say your site is ridiculous. If you are so concerned about a crime why don't you dedicate yourself to a more serious crime. I think that graffitti is art and anyone who does it is an artist. 95% of artists wouldn't touch any private properties(cars, houses,etc. etc.) or memorials or anything of that nature. i feel you should dedicate yourself to something that is a serious crime because graffiti brings the city alive.
Love,
JC Davis (an artist)

 

michael shaddy <olivertwistoflexa@hotmail.com>
date Jul 24, 2006 7:29 AM
subject hey ...STOOPID ASS !!!


you people are fuckin idiots........GRAFFITI LIVES !!!

and because of people like you who are scared of the artform and close
minded , are the reason for

most of the deaths involved in writing !!!!

you people make me sick !!!

rather than blocking it out , which will never work !!! make new walls and
legal walls !!!

so kids can bring out their artistic side.....youre gonna tell me that MEAR
ONE (www.mearone.com) is not a fuckin artist....

you make me sick again

idiots

 

Sir Relix <sirrelix92@gmail.com>
dateJul 5, 2006 1:06 AM

Hey, im writing to you to try to convince you that graffiti isnt all bad like you think it is. Now, just after reading what i just said, please dont stop and just think "Oh, great, another stupid tag artist.." and move on checking your inbox. Please, listen to me. I tag Relix all around AZ, mainly in the Glendale area. But i dont just go up to a wall and spray the letters Relix in tag. I get really colorful, and i do something positive to this community. People walk around and see the colorful and imaginative peices on walls and smile to themselves. I guess not all people do that, because i found out about your site, and for a while now ive known there are a number of people who find our work to be useless, destroying and sometimes depressing to view. The mayor of New York is making a large attempt to make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to carry spray paint in a can and brush tip markers. This really makes it hard for people under that age to do something nice. Now, i do understand that there are things that really shouldnt be there, such as the writing of offensive words, the REAL destroying of property, such as on garage doors and over windows, or pretty much any place on a house owned by someone who didnt ask for that peice/tag to be there. I also understand that its stupid for taggers to go out and just do a few simple lettering of there name on a wall and claim that this means this is there territory. This is all vandalism to me. But it really hurts me when i go out and do something that i spend alot of money and work on just so people can see it and then have it painted over with a boring color that doesnt even match the wall. At all the highschools now, youll get suspended for a week if you have something in tag on your backpack, or your shirt, or whatever your useing, even a folder. This is one thing that makes me really upset over how people see us writers. You see, there have been gangs, many many of them, who have used the tag lettering or bombing lettering to get there gang more popular or claim places. Because of this, EVERYONE who isnt a writer thinks that all of us in the graffiti community are gang members. But where not. Infact, alot of the people i know who do graffiti are extremely peaceful people. I dont know if what im saying will make any difference at all, but im hoping you and everyone else can just accept people who do graffiti. Once again, i am against all sorts of regular tag, vandalism of private property, and pointless curse words. But i am 100% for anyone who can put up a peice on a wall that entertains people. Please take this message seriously.

Sincerely, Relix

 

Matthew Nachtigal <kidmatt_5@hotmail.com>
dateJun 28, 2006 2:16 PM

ok first of all I do think you guys have a point about people painting peoples cars and houses, but i would also like to say i am a writer and im am sure that the people who painted on the cars and houses were not the true writers that us really graff writers are they prob just had beef with that person. I think that if you guys are so concerned about graffiti in public places then why dont you spend more time and or money on getting us places to do it legaly because by you painting over or cleaning off somones peace, you are just giving us writers a freash place to paint. Well i hope you take some of the advice i have taken time to write down for you

P.S graffiti can never be stopped you will learn this soon enough...

 

Miguel Fenoglio <mfenoglio2@yahoo.com.ar>
date May 24, 2006 4:32 PM

Hi Anti Graffiti guys,
First let me say I'm from Argentina and I write graffiti. Whenever I can I ask the wall owner if I can do a piece on it. See, the thing is I like to spend about 12 hours on a piece so it looks good. If the owner is not there, too bad, he'll have to deal with it. You can whine all you want, I know I'm doing society a favor... hell, you should see the crappy walls before my pieces, I'm sure you wouldnt want that next to your house either. I'm against scribblers, but it's something no one will ever be able to stop. It's like if you told all men in the world to stop jerking off, hell!... even the pope does it.
I'm sure the thing is you are against a certain kind of graffiti, scribblers for example. I would like to assume you are not against graffiti pieces, murals and productions... I probably should have read your FAQ better, the problem is this web site looks like the one I designed when I was 12... it's imposible to look at without getting tears in your eyes (both, from high contrast and pitty) From its looks I assumed the site had not been updated since 1994 or something, but I was shocked to read the Marc Eckos Getting Up video game news! Damn! It is updated! And it still looks like this?? damn!
If you think graffiti is so bad, how come some graffiti artists get real recognition? Why do you think I'm now a Graphic Design Graduate? Why do you think I top of my class? How can some graffiti writers get offers to buy their designs and logos? WHY THE FUCK do you think your webpage looks like crap and Misk1.com Can2.de or ANY other graffiti webpage looks about 1.000 times better than this piece of shit a monkey probably made? See graffiti educates, molds and gives people a sense of brotherhood, cooperation and life experience. The aesthetic value of graffiti is infinit.
Before talking about graffiti you should understand it. Do not attack graffiti because it will fight back and it will win. Or has graffiti been erradicated anywhere? Nope.
You sholdn't generalize becuase it will get you more enemies. The guy that wanted to paint your house and spit on you was right. You should attack what concerns you, scribblers or the ONE tagger that wrote on YOUR car. Graffiti is to big of a concept, it involves too many disciplines for you to go out yelling "We don't want graffiti", "graffiti is bad" and so on. Graffiti is not bad, it is an art form, whether you like it or not. You should be more concius about what you say. You should learn more and have a more intelligent attitude towards this matter. You should stop complaining like stupid, and be more realistic.
In case you are thinking I'm just some punk, let me say I did live in your country, I did learn your customs and culture, and I did study in your schools, I was even listed in the Honor Role. Back here in Argentina I'm doing my Graduate Thesis on graffiti. During all my studies I kept a scholarship with an 8.7 average score. You can't say I'm a punk, a vandal, a lowlife or whatever you wanna call me. Hell... I've started learning english when I was five! You were probably experimenting something close to graffiti drawing with crayons on walls...
I must say you people make me sad, I honestly can't believe you are wasting time and resources on a fight you will not win and don't even understand.

Desde Argentina los saludo, dejen de romper las pelotas, hagan algo más util. Mientras leen esto sus hijos están fimando porro y ustedes ni se enteran.

MK

PS: You'd better add this to the "vandal" letters.

 

Matt Demers <coopmillballer@yahoo.com>
date Apr 13, 2006 5:12 PM

hey im a all city artist up here in maine thats right im a graffiti ''ARTIST'' and im doin a paper on graffiti as an art form and i found this site and it made me sick how can you hate on something you dont understand so bad that you start an organization to stop it and how can you think you can stop something as big as graffiti its everywhere look around all the big companies use it in advertising you gonna have them arrested how can you not call graffiti art have you ever looked at a mad wildstyle id like to see one of you people try and paint like that thats probably why you started no graf cause ur jealous you people need to hit the streets talk to graf artists and learn yourselves somethin put me up on your little ''vandals'' page whatever i just want people to know that they shouldnt just believe this site you gotta go out and find out whats real for yourselves graffiti is everywhere you cant stop art EPV WRITERS FOR LIFE REPPIN UP HERE IN MAINE

 

offthatchewy@aim.com
date Mar 28, 2006 10:25 PM

There is one problem with your site. I have found out how to do more damage to stuff from your site then other pro-graff web sites. Can how can you hate it so much? I can understand the glass etching and that stuff but why freak out of a marker or paint tag on wall? I cost about $20 to paint over that stuff and i should know i get a lot of paint. Also i know that you people think that all writers are poor kids with broken up family. Well, you are wrong I am rich and have a little pool where i live. Also that section you have on "do legal walls work". I have one thing to say about that. Nope they do not because in SF the only place there that was chill about painting was psycho city. The funny thing was when the city shut it down he had to go back to the street and that is when we started to crush your walls and buss. Also the cities have much more to think about the just graffiti. WHat about the poor and homeless you have money for wars and to stop graffiti but you cant feed people? Now you try to tell me that is not messed up. I hope to see this in the letters from the "vandals" section O ya one more thing you trip wire shit does not work i just paint a wall to test it out and that shit sucked.

A vandal, artist, basketball player, weight lifter, thug, pimp and what ever you people call us
FUCK YOU

 

Ricky Dill <jesus.is.effing.metal@gmail.com>
date Mar 23, 2006 11:42 PM

This is ridiculous. Your website is a joke. You go on and on with your statistics and factoids but the truth is you don't know anything about graff. First of all, most graffiti is not gang related. Only a miniscule decimal is gang related, it shouldn't even be on your site because something tells me it doesn't concern you because you're no where near where any gang related activity even might occur. I acknowledge the fact that it would suck to have someone paint on your car or house, but I have never seen or heard of such an instance. Graffiti adds character, and lets people see something new and artistic rather than the single toned walls that your website calls for. Thirdly, I don't understand how you can begin to say that people show addictive behavior when it comes to graffiti. Thats irrational. Are you going to say that people who like to draw, play music, or sports, show addictive behavior for each of these activites as well? You fear graffiti and feel threatened by it, and thats why you target it. Is it fear of a different kind of people, with different opinions, different talents, or simply ignorance. It must be one or the other, and neither is a good excuse. You need to stop making statistical claims and tell everyone the real reason that you hate graffiti, and you can't say for the fear of having your house or car, etc. to be painted on because I know that that has never happened to you or anyone you know. Graffiti artists are human beings. If a graffiti artist even ever did show that least amount of addictive behavior regarding graffiti, it is simply because they starve for artistic expression that people like you try to deny them of.

 

P FANE <dpakula@ryerson.ca>
dateMar 20, 2006 8:26 PM


What the fuck does the aclu have to do with graff!! And why r u so against graff but then advertise graff supplies- like that is a little stupid- fuckin jerkoff- hope u die and your wife gets raped in her ass by your dad while your son fucks her mouth!

fuckin graff and patriot act not two in the same thing! go get some culture-u respondin to the li boys so what does that make you a kiddy fucker- let me guess u gonna give me direction nigger-fuc u u blocked-iknow where u live mark-aclu that bitch!!

 

Lola Kavathas <lolakavathas@videotron.ca>
date Nov 21, 2005 1:40 PM

Hi, I stumbled upon your website today as I was surfing the net. I read the letters from the vandals and I'm not agreeing with anybody. I'm not going to insult your personal life or your opinions on "illegal art". Well maybe not always art but destruction as you would put it. And I agree, it is destroying, I do it myself, and no matter how artistic or how much money I spent on one act, I always have to hide my face. Police, citizens, and pedestrians may not like what I'm doing but that's not what graffiti is about. I do it for those who do like it, and the owner of the property i'm "vandalizing" may not want it, but if I think he has too many tags on his wall I will go there and paint over it whether he likes it or not. Graffiti is a very complicated matter. The kids that do it want attention!!! Well that wasn't that complicated. I'm trying to make you realize that your message and your goals are not bad, they're unrealistic. Graf has nothing to do with spraypaint, or art, or movement or lifestyles. It's transforming inappropriate values(such as stealing, dealing,etc...) into less severe ones like vandalism. Now that's not the case for everyone, like I said it's not the marker or the spraycan that's destroying it's the person holding it. All I'm saying is I believe that it can channel anger for certain youths. It might seem really stupid to you but everyone wants to feel accepted in life, I set goals for myself in terms of what can I get away with on the streets, and it sets examples to younger kids that are getting into it. I believe that one day we will walk outside and there will be graffiti everywhere, that's what makes me happy. I think that being a deviant is not necessarily the right path to choose, but for those who have already walked it, embrace it. Graffiti is crime and that's what makes it thrilling. I'm trying to make you understand why these felonies will never stop, because if you allow it, I won't do it. ONLY WHERE IM NOT ALLOWED! Will I continue my parade of "destruction".

I hope your dreams of having a grey monotone city come true, but unfortunately I don't agree with that. It is appeasing to my eyes and I WANT IT TO STAY PERMANENTLY. I am determined that MY dream will come true one day and that colour will fill every grey inch of this world. My competition are my peers. Who is fearless against society? Who stands on their own? After hours the vandals emerge to spread freedom on the streets and on your belongings. Is this a social attack or a bunch of drugged up kids with nothing better to do? After this letter I hope you know the answer.

This is my passion crime, and I will never give up.

 

Luis Flores <gazer@tmail.com>

I would like to have this posted in letters from the vandals to express my opinion on graffiti and where you stand on the issue.I just want to
say that graffiti is a damn art form no different than cubism or architecture.to spend so much time and energy creating this stupid site and maintaining it while real crimes are being commited is ludicrous.
For one example I was arrested for "intent to deface" with spraypaint at the same time some dude was robbing a 15 yearold girl 2 blocks away.
The focus on us writers is reaching a point of lunacy. The cities in which we live are drab and boring. We writers bring color and action to otherwise boring surroundings. I agree vandalism is a negative thing. Yet if the cities allowed us space for our artistic expression there would be less "vandalism" due to the availiablity of wall space. I mean  shit, they have graffiti classes in one of my freinds high schools. I say u can take your beaurocratic bullshit and shove it. I am a writer. I support the Hip Hop movement and am a proud member of the Zulu nation.
We will never stop...NEVER.
-GzE- a writer

amcdonne@student.umass.edu
I'm sure that you won't post this on your website- you want the face of graffiti to remain seemingly "uneducated". So I challenge you to. If you are honest, and with principles, you will. In case you don't know what e-mail I'm referencing,
I'll send it again.

I'm not sure who is the webmaster of your site, quite frankly I don't particularly care. Rather, I'd like to call you and your supporters into question. What, precisely, do you KNOW about graffiti culture? You've expressed
a frank misunderstanding of it on this site, more importantly, you've expressed an ignorance to it. Graffiti is art of the 21st century. Its an artform that actually  extends further into time that you may or may not realize. Its an
expression of creativity and culture, using as a canvas what was (and is) available to the artists. Have you ever truly looked at a piece? Have you actually taken the time out of your day to appreciate the detail and imagination
that goes into the creation of a piece? Have you studied the lines and the way that the colors blend? Or do you only reserve that kind of attention to antiquated European art forms? What exactly is it that bothers you SO much about
graffiti? I suppose your answer will be that its the defamation of YOUR property. I imagine that when the founder of this organization found graffiti on HIS house, he was outraged. He is, afterall, an American. And personal property,
wealth, well, any display of excess, is by far more imporant than any indication of the evolution of society. Especially when the society thats evolving is "hip-hop", right?
I am appalled by the importance that you have placed upon fighting graffiti in our society. I'm actually frightened for you. It seems that you are completely unaware of what is ACTUALLY going on in the world. An AIDS epidemic,
mass starvation, excessive poverty, systematic killings, a war... should I go on, or are you being reminded of anything? And yet you've chosen to make graffiti your campaign. Graffiti. Art. In the face of a malicious world, you
prosecute the artists. The question that begs to be asked is what do you think of the billboards that are now scrawled upon subways? The advertisements that cover nearly every building? Its obvious that we as consumer Americans are
terrified of any wasted space. But should that wasted space be used in a constructive manner rather than the brainwashing of the American consumer, we run in terror, right?
Please, correct me if I am wrong in stating any of the aformentioned. I would love to be enlightened by you. I would love to go through life in the same terror of other cultures that you seem to. I think I would benefit from it. And
I have a suggestion for you. Prioritize. Stop wasting the life (and money) that you have been given. You are a disgrace to humanity. I am embarrassed for you. No, I am not a graffiti artist. I simply recognize, and love art. (By the way, I
was appalled at the ridiculousness of this quote "Art is supposed to imitate nature; art is supposed to be beautiful! " Good grief, how ignorant can you be.) And I'll be damned if I am going to be denied that pleasure by some reactionary
group afraid of the value of their homes dropping.
Very sincerely yours,
Anne McDonnell

From: Randy Campbell
To: amcdonne@student.umass.edu
Subject: Re: Furthermore

So you're not a vandal but you support vandalizing the property of others? but you are the educated and civilized one, is that correct?

As for what we or I know about graffiti culture, I can go way out on a limb here and state that I probably have more inside knowledge about graffiti and it's subculture than most graffiti vandals themselves, I have studied it, I have lived it and I have gathered every piece of work written about graffiti over the last 15+ years, I have talked to and interviewed thousands of vandals and real and true graffiti artist. I have also interviewed and met with many of those in every form of graffiti abatement. I have seen great works of graffiti art, and I have seen kids ruin their lives for throwing a simple and meaningless tag on a wall, just to say they were able to vandalize some property. You seem to have this whole idea that all graffiti is art, well I disagree with you, throw a tag on a wall is not art, nor is it artistic in value, it was never meant to be "Art" by the vandal, it was meant to be a display of vandalism, nothing more, and NO, it is not my view of it, it is from the vandals themselves. Nograf works to stop this type of graffiti, not stop Graffiti.

You also feel that it should be accepted because it is the current "evolution of society" I am here to tell you that it is not an evolution, this is something that has gone on since the dawn of time, when there was no such thing and pen and paper, they wrote on cave walls to tell their story, then over the years, they evolved to the point where they was no need to paint on walls as they had the tools to put their thoughts done on paper, or canvas, or electronic. The true fact of the matter is this, once "kids" grow up, they move away from graffiti vandalism, Yes, there are a few who will do it till they die, but they are few.

As always, we get e-mails like this and 99% of the time, it comes from an .edu address. Someone who feels that they are highly educated and whatever they feel or think, is more important than someone else, They love to point out that we should place their message on the web site, because it is from "an educated person" not some brain dead vandal. They also love to point out that there are other problems in the world, An AIDS epidemic, mass starvation, excessive poverty, systematic killings, a war....... War, Hmmm, are not most wars due to the people having mass starvation, excessive poverty, systematic killings? And they want to stop it? So, is a war bad if it stops these things?

How about the fact that we spend over 30 billion a year covering graffiti vandalism, if graffiti is so nice as you seem to state, then why do property values drop 10 to 20% in an area that has graffiti, why do people avoid businesses that are in areas covered with graffiti? why are their billions of people who despise graffiti vandalism? But this is a popular sub culture you say, I would think that if it were so popular, people would love to have graffiti on or near their property, correct?

But hey, we must all be uneducated people here because we feel that respect for the property of others is important. I am so thankful to get your e-mail so I could see the error of our ways, I see now that to be in the educated crowd, I need to disrespect the property of others, do as I please with no regard for laws (because they must have been made by uneducated people also)

I think I will go ahead and shut this information web site down, now that I know what the true meaning of graffiti is... I thank you so much, now I will have much more time to go out and put forth more effort into breaking laws, disrespecting other peoples property, causing business owners to pay out large amounts of money to remove graffiti...But wait, graffiti vandalism is popular, everyone loves it, these business owners will not care, the graffiti will attract business, homeowners property values will skyrocket, and all the troubles in the world (mass starvation, excessive poverty, systematic killings) will go away... How  could I have been so foolish, I thank you again for your educated view...

Randy Campbell
President and Executive Director
The Nograf Network Inc
A Non Profit 501 (C) (3) Corporation

 

Cam fulton

I just thought I would inform you of a few things I think you may have misread or taken wrongly in the UMass students letter, I'll be fixing
your grammar a bit on the way because it's downright horrible, I'm a bit nit-picky about grammar, though I know mine is not perfect, no
offense intended.

- War, hmmm, are not most wars due to mass starvation, excessive poverty ,and systematic killings? Why is war bad if it stops these
things?

- I think what the author was trying to say is that instead of devoting your time and money to ridding the world of an art form that, in a large ammount of cases, is sending an anti-poverty, starvation, cruelty, facism, and systematic killings message that you should be focusing on the larger problems, like AIDS and all of the things listed above. (Oh and P.S. war is bad because the only way it gets rid of these things such as starvation is by killing the surplus
population in order to reduce the starvation, when the starving place could have turned to other more powerful or wealthy nations for assistance.)

Now, I am not pro-legal graffiti for everyone. I think that legal walls are a good idea, to give toys (new writers) a chance to practice, and then eventually I think you should have to undergo some kind of test (a non-biased test) that will place you in a particular class, determined by your style, and then building owners would be required to choose which styles they would like to see painted on their walls, (none would be a choice aswell, some people do not like
it.) If an artist gets tired of one type of writing s/he can always apply for another style, and have the ability to obtain as many as s/he desires at any given time. This way the government can gain tax revenue from the licensing process and building owners can have the type of art they want to have on their walls (free of charge) and the writers who are true artists (not the one line mono-tone tagger toy gang-bangers) can write without fear of arrest as long as they dont tag a wall that is not designated for their style(s).
Benjamin Hoyle <thechiefglider@hotmail.com>

Hello. Just visited your site for the first time and what a refreshing, open-minded look at graffiti subculture! (Yes, that's right, I was placating you with my disarming array of wit and charm, idiots). I am a graffiti vandal. My parents know I am. They dislike my choice of pastime but they have resigned themselves to the fact that I am never going to stop and acknowledge that I am one of the most motivated people around. I crush whole suburbs by foot.

I don't do it to cause pain and disillusion. Quite the opposite. If one person sees my work and has a laugh or is made to think twice then I have achieved my goal. Hopefully, a whole lot of people will see my work and be utterly disgusted. There, too, I have achieved my goal. There is nothing worse than apathy. To evoke a reaction from the middle and upper class, semi-retired goons who form "Emergency Response Graffiti Teams" is one of the many reasons I write graffiti.

To quote Chuck D from infamous RAP MUSIC group Public Enemy, "The reasons? Several, most of 'em federal". I don't attack private homes, cars and the like. I don't attack the small business trying to stay afloat. I attack government property. It is a show of rebellion against the increasingly shackled Big-Brother police mindstate we are in. No-one has the right to know where I am 24 hours a day at any given moment. I won't stop and the real writers will never give in. One of your associate websites mentions that neighborhood groups should immediately go over graffiti on public property. It does not mention attaining permission. Pressumably, the author is implying that public property belongs to everyone and thus it's everyone's right to remove graffiti. Hang on? Did you ASK everyone if they wanted the graffiti removed? So wait? You can remove it whenever and wherever without so much as even asking anyone, but I can't write on the same property? Furthermore, it's usually the actual removal of graffiti that damages property, not the application of graffiti mediums. I know your "Letters from the Vandals" section is there with the sole intention of pigeon-holing all graffiti writers as mis-informed, angry young men. Yes, I am an angry young man. Yet, I'm informed. That's why I'm angry. I see the truth. I see the lies, the famine, the greed, the adultery, the gluttony, the philandering, the hedonistic indulgences of the modern western world and the disparity in the dispersion of wealth and resources to those with NOTHING. I see it and I don't like what I see. I have opened my eyes, and I am forcing the white-collar pigs to open theirs, even if it kills them. I am going to shake you out of your 9 to 5 coma even if it means breaking your neck in the process. So, there's my ten cents' worth. Take it or leave it. One thing is a given; I will be spraypainting public property AGAIN tonight. This is the TRUTH.
Dear sir/madame,

I am afraid that I must take issue with a number of ideas and facts presented in your "frequently asked questions" section, accessible from the Nograf network. Unlike a number of advocates for the artform (terminology which i shall define later on in this e-mail), whom I'm sure have responded to your article with outrage or hate, and could care less about a response, I beg of you to respond to this e-mail and the ides i shall present. In fact, feel free to post this e-mail on your site, as you have with many others. That is of course, if you are willing to accept and, without bias, consider the ideas you will soon read. In the past, all attempts i have made at having a rational discussion regarding graffiti have been ignored; please show me that you are passionate about graffiti by responding. Firstly I would like to address the numerous figures that you have presented as fact. As you most probably know, in any academicallly- or scholarly-driven article or piece of writing, no figure would be taken as fact without some form of citation, or at the very least, proof of personal research into the matter at hand. While I am aware that this may seem slightly "nitpicky", i find it difficult to not doubt the credibility of your arguments without said citations or research. Now that we have taken care of the semantics. I must first say that I am pleased to see that there is a distinction made between gang graffiti and what you call "hip-hop" graffiti, as there is a clear distinction between the two. However, in recent years, graffiti has grown farther and farther away from the hip-hop culture, to the extent where they are almost seperate subcultures in themselves.

Next, the reader is presented with the issue of free or legal walls, and you have dismissed these initiatives as useless. There are a number of discrepancies, however, in the issues that you take with free walls. "Spillover" appears to be the major (if not only) problem that holds back the use of free walls. However, the creators of these free walls themselves state that there are no signs dictating what is and is not acceptable in terms of surfaces to mark! I ask you, is it not understandable that there is such a spillover effect? If it was made clear that the presence of unauthorized graffiti in the surrounding area would result in the loss of or "buffing' of a free wall, then the incidence of unauthorized graffiti in the area would surely go down. While more free walls undoubtedly will not stop graffiti in it's tracks, it will act to ensure that graffi that can be seen is of a more tolerable nature, as opposed to tags or throw-ups. While there will always remain individuals who tout free walls as "fake graffiti" as it is not illegal, these individuals undoubtedly will exist in the face of even the strictest punishments. No emasures or punishments will stop these individuals, and they say this themselves. Next, there are the issues of why graffiti is considered dangerous. I cannot begin to try to discount your claims that graffiti poses imminent danger to it's participants, as it surely does. Nor can i discount similar claims that there is the possibility of a criminal record or addiction. However, it is clear that financial loss is a direct result of the intense crackdown on graffiti in reent years. It merely adds fuel to the fire, so to speak. Why does the government pour billions of dollars into stopping graffiti? I have my own personal beliefs regarding that issue, and i will elaborate in another e-mail if you wish. The claim that graffiti promotes anti-social behaviour is ludicrous. You make this claim, yet you also cite an incident in which individuals from germany and New York met up in order to go painting. How is this in any way anti-social? Graffiti writers form tight-knit bonds throughout the culture, often meeting individuals and forming life-long friendships. Socialization is key in graffiti; you are ignored if you are just another kid with a can of paint in his hands. you need to know people to be somebody, as is the case in the real world.

there are a number of points i would like to make regarding the points you make following those, howveer, I am aware that I am running long in this e-mail so i shall address the final point you make about graffiti exhibits in art galleries. This final point infuriates me, as it is a clear-cut case of censorship in art. First, you make it a point to say that graffiti cannot be art no matter how it is presented; but art in itself is the expression of human emotions and feeling through a variety of mediums. granted, you may not see the artistic value in a tag, but for large pieces or murals, i fail to see how one can make a case against it's artistic value. Even so, you seek to eliminate the only legal outlet for a graffiti writer's talents, the gallery. It is ehre that i see that you are no longer attacking the art or the concept of the art, but those who produce it, and there is no denying this.

Once again, as much as i would love to continue, i am aware that i am running long. i have many more criticisms of your article and website, and ideology as a whole. I urge you to respond to this e-mail and post it on your site, or at least acknowledge the points i have made. In the past all attempts i have made at having a rational discussion with anti-graffiti groups have left me with no rational response. thank you for your time.

sincerely, ryan s.

Randy,

Thank you for replying to my email in such a polite fashion; as I stated earlier, when i confront most anti-graffiti organizations, i am usually met with either a very close-minded response ("Graffiti is always WRONG! Graffiti can NEVER be art!") or no response whatsoever. As you have probably inferred from my previous e-mail, i am pro- graffiti. There are a number of points i didn't want to bring up in my previous email (why bother typing away for hours when i may not even get a response?), however, perhaps i can present them now.

Firstly, i believe that the root of the problem lies in our views towards graffiti. For the most part (aside from etches and scribes on glass), graffiti does absolutely nothing to harm the structural integrity of the surface it is applied to; it merely adds another coat of paint. It does not weaken the wall, nor does it prevent the wall (or train, or door, etc)from serving it's purpose. Why, then do we go to such lengths to prevent graffiti from appearing on these surfaces? I believe it is because we are bombarded with messages portraying the art in a negative light. Society, police, and anti-graffiti movements have "painted" graffiti as a direct slap in the face of a business owner or of the city as a whole, when really, it's an outlet, a rush, and a million other things for those who participate in it. This view is perpetuated by those who say that writers "have no respect" for personal property. I must say that this in fact is very, VERY false.

Rarely do you see personal vehicles, churches, or homes painted. I acknowledge that yes, they do on occasion get painted, but the true writer knows the unwritten code of ethics about what is off-limits. Writers do not paint (for the most past) to disrespect a business...no, they are simply trying to find a new canvas.

Secondly, most of the surfaces now "hit" by writers are abandoned walls, surfaces underneath bridges, etc. These are places where graffiti should be welcomed; very few would agree that an abandoned warehouse is a pretty sight. The problem with free walls, u say, is that the areas surrounding them get painted. Hastings skate park in Vancouver BC is full of graffiti; however, due to an active buff, the area surrounding it is clean, and has been for quite some time. This is not by coincedence, though, as much hard work was put into maintaining a graffiti-free zone surrounding the area.

I am once again running long and i am afraid i am on a public computer, so hopefully i can remember all my points to continue this at a later date. i anticipate your response.  

ryan

 

Nograf Network,

Your webpage is particularly compelling to me due to my overwhelming interest in the hip-hop subculture of graffiti. Graffiti cannot be as horrible as you are making it out to be. Maybe before you decide that graffiti is absolutely unacceptable, you should ponder what is compelling about graffiti. What makes these 'taggers' want to write their pseudonym on a wall? Is it drugs and gangs and violence? Personally, I am not involved with any of these, yet I still enjoy the satisfaction of staring at a 10'x10' of my name on the side of a drainage ditch. Taggers are not the only ones with this same interest. Think about the last dirty car you saw with 'wash me' written by an innocent finger, hieroglyphics, cave drawings; even Jesus wrote in the sand while teaching to his disciples. A tagger has these same feelings, yet is driven to share them with the rest of the community.

Nest time you see a piece on the side of an abandoned building or cement barricade, think about the dedication that the individual had to have to create his 'artwork'. The motivation taggers have is among the greatest I have ever seen. To risk being arrested, fined, rejected and hurt over a simple drawing is beyond ridiculous, yet intriguing. For those who still find fault in my letter, I ask that you do one simple thing. Find a large piece of plywood and nail or prop it up against your backyard fence. Find a can of spray paint from the depths of your garage and write your name on the plywood. The only catch is that you must simply let loose. Write what you want, what you feel, who you are, who you want to be...just let loose. If you do not enjoy yourself, take it a bit further; do it in your front yard, while the neighbors are out. What will they think? Go nuts, be creative, don't let these narrow-minded cubicle thoughts control your life. Live, bend rules, and show the world that your artwork is beautiful. I do understand that there have been cases of VANDALISM that is unacceptable. Whether done out of hate or vengence, it is inapropriate. Graffiti and those who understand it realize that there are unwritten rules about what and where to paint. There is a difference between vandalism and graffiti, one is an action and the other is a lifestyle. Good luck in finding the secrets to winning the graffiti vandalism fight. - Dusty, OKC ( Note to editor: post this if full context please. Thank you for your time. - DG)

Thanks for contacting us, we are not in a fight to stop graffiti, we fight to stop vandalism, we feel that you should not place graffiti on property that does not belong to you, plain and simple. We feel that respect for someone else’s property is a basic value

 

okay.. i agree with SOME of what you guys are trying to say... yeah, it would piss me off if somone painted my ride, too, but i don't think a tagger would go after a car.. that just sounds like random violence... what if the parents had some haters?? people do that kind of thing to each other.. don't forget that we're all human too, and it only takes a few things for someone to lose their cool and kick someone's ass or do something really stupid.. like spray paint some car windows.... i think you guys would make it more believable if you had some pictures...instead of saying "some guy and some lady who work and live here and do blah blah blah." and by the way, i am not a graffiti tagger or whatever the hell you guys want to call it. it's cool that u guys are trying to 'clean' up the town. i'm fine with that...really.. but take into consideration that this lifestyle, like all lifestyles, is a way of life. probobly not for some, but for most. what really interested me the most was when i read the FAQ section... stating that a man who was addicted to cocain stopped when he started tagging... and that's wrong?? well maybe he didn't pick the best of things to do.. but damn, he more than likely cleaned himself up... i know i'd rather spray paint a damn wall than sniff that crap. so, what lifestyle are you guys gonna go after next?? the guys who have lowriders?? that's a lifestyle... the kids who like to sing?? the kids who like to sketch art?? the folks who can dance? it's what they do, it's their lifestyle... i'm sure this may have stopped some folks from tagging, but rest assured... it's not going to stop. i guarantee it. it's a part of society and it will always be. i'd really like to be put into the 'letters from the vandals' section... i just got through painting my wall....                                                                                                                                                                               

 

Man, graffiti will never die! get it through ur heads! we re her eto stay, and u cant do any thin to stop us... we multiply like rabbits and continue doing what we like... we mite be vandals, but  u lot are a bunch of sad, pathetic whiners with nothin better to do than complain about silly graff. theres more important crimes in the world with which u should concern urselfs with! get a fuckin life!

 

I just recently found out about nograf.com and I said to myself, "These guys are a bunch of closeminded unintelegent losers,they put all this effort into talking trash on people that have something unique, and live a lifestyle that is misunderstood by society." Because there aren't legal spray walls everywhere, yes people still vandalize, but while we're out doing these acts of artistic creativity, the people that take pride in this site are probably jerking off to some video with a five year old bent over screaming help and no. You see I write graf at night, and you go and cheat on your wives, gamble, do drugs, and feed the corporate monkey. So I guess no one wins here... you hate us ,and we don't even hate you because we accept the fact that while you embessle money from the company you work for and call yourself an American... think, one day this will be so in my face I wish I never said a word about those damn graf writers and maybe I'll be in your face, you pussy ass artistic hating motherfucker I DONT PAINT PEOPLES CARS, HOUSES, PRIVATE PROPERTY, ETC. 95% of graf writers feel the same way, but we all agree on one thing . IF YOU TOLD ME WHERE YOU LIVED, I WOULD PAINT YOUR FUCKING HOUSE, SPIT IN YOUR FACE AND LAUGH ABOUT IT.

 

i don't like your site
Ever heard of cave paintings?

 Sure. painting on someones house or writing your name on a wall is not a good thing, but your saying you'd rather live in a metropolis grey  walled city housing nothing but narrow minded robotic people.

 How can you be so anti-grafitti as to create an organization against  it?! It's ridiculous!!
Your website is very badly designed.  I would love to hear back because it amazes me that people can be so obbsessed with control.  Ben. An artist and human.

 

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Last Updated 1/12/2008