Sunday, May 19, 2013

How do communities take on the taggers?

Berlin's fine street art defaced by tags
      Berlin’s East Side Gallery is a fine example of the difference between street art and tagging. Street art is all about artistic expression whereas tagging is about identity.
Street art is designed (and I use that word deliberately) to make a comment, to raise political awareness, to enhance a neighbourhood, to make the passerby think while enjoying a visual spectacle. Tagging is all about defacing the environment in the name of self and what is worse, it goes straight over fine examples of art. Street art takes skill, tagging doesn’t.
     It's a crying shame to see Melbourne's Hosier Lane, which has hosted artists like Le Rat and Banksy, graffitied over by nobodies who can do no more with a spray can than squiggle their ‘name’ for want of a better word. Even Mr Squiggle could do better. Most of these taggers are teenagers who will one day grow out of their childish habits. If only they would grow out of it more quickly.
Taggers have spoiled some fine artistic and political
comment on Berlin's East Side Gallery with their
nasty little tags which all say me, me me.

     What can be done to reduce the problem blighting cities all around the world? For a start councils could ban the sale of spray paints to under 18 year olds. Though not always effective, it’s a start, as are store lock-ups. Maybe education is the way to go. If young taggers were educated and encouraged to use art to express themselves they might see how crass those tags really are.

Hosier Lane Melbourne

Where's the artistic merit?

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