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Tuesday, April 25, 2006
  Artists Sue NYC over Anti-Graffiti Law
A group of seven artists and the fashion designer Marc Ecko are suing New York City for being too hard on graffiti artists, claiming that their "constitutional right to free speech" is being violated. People under the age of 21 are banned from possessing broad-tipped markers or spray paint cans.
I'm all for graffiti art, but why not buy your own boards or canvas like most other painters have to? Graffiti is art, but it's also vandalism if you're painting all over a building you don't own.
Artists sue New York City over anti-graffiti law
"City Councilman Peter Vallone, who sponsored the law and has sparred with Ecko over the issue, accused the designer of hiding behind free speech rights to promote his video game and brand name." MSN
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BgArt News Blog Comments:
I agree, if you don't own the building you have no right to cover it with your graffiti. If it's something you have been hired for, sobeit. I think banning the possession of spray paint and markers is a little extreme, but what are ya gonna do? Slaps on the wrists just don't work anymore.
I don't argue with the point about vandalism, but...

Graffiti just ain't graffiti if it's painted on a canvas. Graffiti has an "outside the law" quality that can't be separated from its essence. Since there is not much to do about stopping it, I think you have a good attitude in appreciating it.
I appreciate it as art, but I wouldnt like to wake up one morning to see it all over my walls.

I'm not saying there should be less graffiti around, but more designated areas where artists are allowed to show their work.

Tagging, where vandals just scrawl their nickname all over the place with thick marker pens are not much different to animals marking their territory though.
I never thought about tagging as marking one's territory as an animal does, but you're right. In the city where I live, we have several sites reserved just for graffiti art, some of which is quite striking. It's doubtful those sites were originally planned for such use, but I suspect the practice became so widespread that the city couldn't keep up with the sandblasting. Most of what I see couldn't be called art by a long shot.
Yes, graffiti is like animal marking. The difference is that the taggers haven't got the guts to do it in daylight.
It is very intimidating to wake up and discover that a gang has scrawled their excrement over property.
none of you know what you are talking about. Learn about the subculture first before you talk about it being "cowardly" and "gang-related". 90% of graffiti art is not gang related. Tagging is a way to get your name seen and known, not marking a territory. Do your homework.
this is actually a Hollywood actor. ;)
Sinem, nobody is doubting that graffiti is art or that it is of value.

Just put yourself in the shoes of a person that owns a building and doesnt want tagging and graffiti scrawled all over it. Is he expected to just go learn about the subculture and empathize with the people vandalizing his walls?

When I run out of canvas I dont go and start painting my neighbors walls as I understand that its not my property to paint. If you own the property, do what you want with it, otherwise, accept that youre a vandal and deserve to be prosecuted.

I have much less sympathy for taggers. They really are just dogs pissing on walls.
Sorry, but first amendment rights will always be more important than property rights.

Right now, our main modes of wide public expression are dominated by a few small corporations which are consolidating their power.

Street art, and personal expression through graffiti is an essential dissenting voice that must be protected.

Graffiti has been around since the earliest societies, and in fact since the dawn of man. Graffiti artists are not harming anyone, and so, must be allowed to express themselves freely.
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