Tim Walker’s Graffiti

With the consent of Dunedin business owners their city streets are to become the canvas for the work of New Zealand graffiti artists.

Understandably agreement for this, classically modern era, proposition didn’t come easily as for a number of the aforementioned proprietors, any kind of artistry on building walls is vandalism and is therefore unwanted.

So called graffiti art has been around for a number of years; oddly enough it started to gain recognition a little over ten years ago, around the same time graffiti-based vandalism in the US was at an all time high and in fact had just reached the point where authority figures in some of the worst hit areas such as New Orleans had begrudgingly conceded, they were losing the fight against graffiti…

Just like the way teenagers who couldn’t afford to buy new jeans and had to go on wearing the ones with ripped knees would tell their buddies, ‘Oh nah, that’s how they’re s’posed to be eh’, some clever bugger looked at all the senseless tagging on the walls of buildings, undoubtedly shook their heads defeatedly before smiling, and saying, ‘Hey I know, let’s make it a thing – let’s call it “art”’.

…All observe the advent of Graffiti Art: the city official’s way of making common vandals feel as though they might just be contributing to society in some way that although nobody is in complete agreement on quite what that contribution is we reckon we can just about tolerate it because let’s be fair, much of the unauthorised artistry that I saw sprayed on concrete walls fifteen years ago wasn’t entirely awful.

By definition: art is the personal expression of the individual, as expressed by the mind, articulated through the body.

Fair enough, I just made that up but the point remains: anything that anybody does anywhere, might just be considered art – of course the artist just needs to label it as such.

This brings me to my ultimate point: whatever pretty name one likes to give to the style of painting that comes from aerosol cans, in reality, it is graffiti; if it’s done deliberately, well, it’s deliberate graffiti.

The paint from aerosols has a horrible texture, it doesn’t cover well, the paint itself doesn’t last – particularly because those idiots with the paint cans never seem concerned about surface preparation – and as I keep saying, it has no place on the walls of private property.

The fact that authority figures have capitulated and effectively told New Zealand’s cohort of drop-kick, mouth-breathing, bottom-feeding graffiti artist that what they are doing is acceptable, simply, is unacceptable.

Dunedin city is awesome but bless its heart, it needs all the love it can get – this is sure not the way to give it.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Errol Soul

Photography by Dorf Diddler



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