Underneath the old Grafton bridge is a hotspot for particularly creative graffiti art. But when the graffiti lands onto private property, what's the best course of action for the artistically appreciative 'victim'.
Underneath the old Grafton bridge is a hotspot for particularly creative graffiti art. But when the graffiti lands onto private property, what's the best course of action for the artistically appreciative 'victim'.

A FENCE OFFENCE: The final word on graffiti

GRAFFITI is funny, well, specially when it's funny, like the things you read on the walls of universities like "I'd give me right arm to be ambidextrous' or "Free Nelson Mandela", to which some wag added "Bishop Tutu 25 per cent off".

However it's a different matter when it's in your own neighbourhood, or worse, your own fence, notwithstanding that most modern graffiti, while bright and stylish, is completely unintelligible to anyone over 18, if indeed there's a message in it at all.

Take our fence. The artwork is not unattractive, and to be honest it's probably lifted the standard of our face to the world a notch. The fence itself is that dreadful shade of heritage green that was popular, um, probably never, so the artist at least did us a favour and used as complimentary a colour as one possibly could, a rather fetching and patriotic gold hue.

Appealing as it was, I couldn't read it, a fact which invoked great hilarity and superiority in Ms L, who deciphered it immediately, as did everyone else under 25.

The fact that none of our ageing neighbours could understand it either was little comfort, although one offered the helpful advice that the previous owners had painted the fence in graffiti proof paint. Haha, money well spent.

So what do we do?

By doing nothing do we upset the neighbourhood by being less house proud than the precinct expects? More than one nearby resident has already asked when we're going to wash it off.

But it seems rude to wash someone's art away even if that is made easier by fancy paint. Will the artist take offence (or a fence) thus inspiring a more determined, less attractive attack?

If we leave it will that likewise encourage and incite more artists to leave their moniker or tag?

Will they all be as respectful to the ghastly anachronistic canvas?

Should we commission emerging artists as a funding measure to promote the arts generally, specially given that no government is prepared to do it?

Should we sell the space to funky advertising?

Should we just put 'Banksy' beneath it? Maybe someone will steal it and we'll claim a new fence under insurance and buy some bubbles to celebrate?

 

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