Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Art crimes

For some reason, many parts of Europe I've seen have surprising amounts of graffiti. My hypothesis is that it doesn't get painted over as promptly, so it slowly grows and spreads to all kinds of surfaces until everyone's just used to seeing it and stops minding. I guess there's not a graffiti squad waiting for your call with cleanser like there is in Chicago. And maybe the implications of letting it remain aren't as scary.

I read a book about the gangs of Chicago once. It laid out the intricate hierarchies and alliances between gangs in various cities, covered drugs and guns extensively, and explained deadly color combinations, but I really don't think it mentioned anything about gang graffiti and its purpose. Marking out territory? Are there gangs in Lugano claiming neighborhoods? If so, the gang named "Pooh" controls all of the underpasses.

Anyway, Banksy can rest easy – the graffiti artists around here won't be stealing the world spotlight from him anytime soon. Lugano's few token anarchists remain uncreative, so "we are looking for the queen of the drug" is about as edgy as it gets. Man, I hope they found her before they graduated high school.

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