Beef with mustard

Graffiti is a given in every urban environment. From Dunedin to Reykjavik you’ll see walls daubed with tags and roll-ups. Some of them are witty and clever, some are thoughtlessly annoying, some have come to be considered as artworks.

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All street artists start somewhere, but most often it’s in the drains, on the under sides of bridges, inside warehouses, on derelict buildings. As with any form of creativity the early pieces are pretty rubbish. I’ve watched some guys’ paintings improve dramatically, from infantile tags to accomplished large-scale pieces.

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But the world of street art is relentlessly competitive, and no matter how great your piece or your reputation you will, one day, get trashed.

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The gigantic roll-ups made by CUBE and POAS are invisible now beneath layers and layers of ugly tags.

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There’s been a beef on down the drain over recent weeks. The Christmas paint job that SEPS put up was sprayed out, then covered with something nowhere near as well executed.

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Someone who calls themselves DC has appeared on the scene. He or she has an ego that’s in inverse proportion to his/her ability. It’s all big stuff, shoddily done.

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DC’s arrival coincided with lots of “Yah boo! You’re rubbish and we’re brilliant!” notices on the bankings.

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It’s all rather depressing, but I suppose that it’s the nature of the beast. I remember back in 2012 acknowledging the 50th anniversary of graffiti put under the Chatham Road bridge in October 1962 by PP and Bert the Flirt. And yet, when I went past there with Jambo, I was shocked to see that some scroat (as they used to say in The Bill) had defaced PP’s 50-year-old graffito! I mean, show some respect!

Why on earth was I so bothered by that? I’m such a stodgy traditionalist. I need to take a leaf out of the kids’ book.

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