Venue comment on tagging

Bristol what’s on mag Venue always has a section at the back called ‘i saw you’, where people write in and lament not having spoken to that chap or chapess they admired from afar at a club night or whatever. Had it on good authority that when they started they were mostly made up by Venue staff, but now they’re all sent in by real people.

This idea has now expanded into an ‘i’m sore at you’ section, where people write in short notes aimed at people or things they’re annoyed with. It’s an interesting read, and one in this week’s edition seemed pertinent to this blog.

I’m sore at you SEKO! Do us a favour and stop tagging every bloody thing along Gloucester / Cheltenham Road, including my front door! Your tag is entirely lacking in any creative merit and is utterly pointless, only serving to make everything look really scabby! You are clearly an utter moron

Have seen Seko’s tags around quite a lot on my travels, and have to say, i’m increasingly in agreement. Some graf is art, and can add something to the visual environment, but the more things get tagged pointlessly, the less other people are going to agree. As one writer once said to me ‘I don’t get kids these days, i used to spend days and weeks working on my tag before i started spraying anything, now it seems no-one cares any more’.

The worst one i’ve seen recently is below. Montpelier train station was painted with a massive piece a few years back, it made it look loads better and was specially commissioned by the rail company. A few months ago, ‘yuck’ and others dubbed over the station nam, and ruined a huge section of it. It’s not as if they were adding anything of worth to the piece (like Dan’s addition to the Xenz piece at the bottom of Ninetree Hill for those that know it). More to the point, it’s not as if they were painting a wall that was just anyone’s to paint. The work there had been commissioned by someone. If the streets are to be an outdoor art gallery, then painting over commissioned pieces is a pretty big faux pas to my mind.

Have a look for yourself.



Filed under Bristol

10 responses to “Venue comment on tagging

  1. bristolian youff

    fair enough its pretty piss poor…. but please explain why “dan” is alowed to and not yuck. if one person is alowed to add to it everyone should be able to, fuck elitist ideals of graff.

  2. bristolgraffiti

    It’s a tricky question innit, ‘what is art’ and all that. Thing is though, i don’t think it’s elitist to say that one thing is better than another.

    Dan did this, (the cats bit) which is comedy in itself, is thought out, well executed and suggests ideas of Dan stepping up with cats to eat Xenz. There’s a lot to it.

    What is there to Yuck other than spraying a very basic tag left right and centre? I hope and suspect there’s a lot more to the guy, and would genuinely love to see it, but at the moment haven’t seen anything else than a desire to destroy and deface other people’s walls or work, rather than a desire to create something new.

    Fair enough if you don’t think there ever can be an objective definition of good vs bad graf, but i don’t think it’s elitist to say there is such a definition, even if people don’t agree on what exactly is good and bad.

  3. Abi Titmuss

    Personally Id much rather see a load of nice tags and dirty trackside dubs than some state approved sanitized ‘graffiti art’. No disrespect to the writers gone-over in that pic, but Yuck has just as much ‘right’ to paint his name on that brickwork as them or you, me or bleedin Banksy for that matter. Its the bombin that keeps the scene alive, too much middle-class art college pretentions these days Im afraid. (Any writer of note will know that inevitable post-pub stumble back home with your favourite Pental marker!) Anyway, you have to realise that the only reason why the rail companies commission productions like this in the first place is to deter any form of illegal graffiti in the future, surely Yuck is just making a point. Lets not lose sight of why graffiti came to dominate every city on the globe, it was a accessible statement of rebellion, and guess what? you cant control a rebel!

  4. bristolgraffiti

    I know what you’re saying in a way, and have always thought the montpelier piece a little cheesy and, well, ‘approved’ in places, but still think if you’re going to go over someone else’s work, then the way you do it is important. If you can do something better, then great, if you can add to something, then great, but that dub isn’t really the best i’ve seen (as i’ve said though, i’d love to see some of yuck’s other work to make a proper judgement on this one).

    Graffiti is certainly rebellion, and has been for thousands of years, but it’s generally had a cause or a message, or at least some other form of thought within it. If the dubs on montpelier station are objecting to the approved graf on it, then i’m sure they can just paint the building blank, but then it’ll be dubbed again won’t it, so what is the point?

    I’m asking cos i’m genuinely interested in this one, most writers i’ve met have had a message or a point behind what they do, even if it’s unintelligible. Killer for example, is doing some weird stuff at the moment, no idea what it means, but it clearly means something.

    Just can’t see the point of just writing your name all over the shop in such a simple style. Convince me i’m wrong!

  5. Abi Titmuss

    I dispute this bourgeois preoccupation with attaching some kinda deep and meaningful subtext to all forms of expressive action. The writing movement was born outta Philly and New York by kids whose primary goal was to ‘get up’. Writing has always simply been about gettin your name up, thats it. (It is after all centered around the letter form, and more specifically the tag name of the writer). Fine, if you wanna attach some kinda political/spiritual etc sentiment to it then thats cool, but styles, the technicalities and concepts etc were born out of the primitive competitive nature of a male dominated youth culture. You see, the act of graffiti itself IS a statement, it doesn’t need to justify its existence by aligning itself with some half-baked external ideology. Which is why I reject the idea that a stencil of Tony Blair as Rupert the bear (Oh how it made me laugh………….and think!) has any greater worth than a Seko tag. The destructive nature of graffiti is every bit as valuable as the creative, as for me bombin and its placement can say more than any piece. Im not advocating goin over pieces with shitty tags/dubs etc, far from it, as in an ideal world everyone would respect each others work. All Im trying to say is that there should be no elitism in self-expression.

  6. Pingback: On the definition of Art : James Barlow - James Barlow | Political Cartoons

  7. I dispute this bourgeois preoccupation with attaching some kinda deep and meaningful subtext to all forms of expressive action.

    Quotation of the day 😀

  8. Abi Titmuss

    I couldnt give two flyin fucks whether James Barlow or anyone else for that matter considers writing as art or not. “Graffiti is art!…No it isnt!…….Graffiti IS art….No it isn’t, its vandalism!!….etc, etc….AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!! SHUT THE FUCk UP AND GO BACk TO WANkIN OVER THE GUARDIANS CULTURE SECTION YOU POUNCES!!
    PS. Maybe Mr Barlow could get his ‘The Distressed Post Box’ print exhibited, it conjures up for me feelings of isolation, despair and strangely, humility!

  9. andy

    graffiti is not art or vandalism, its graffiti. putting it in galleries in 1982 didn’t validate it or elevate it to a new level, it was just a few more paintings in a gallery for some slack-jawed trendy twat to gawp at.
    also if a bunch of art scholars somewhere finally decide that it IS art, what happens then? will the internet collapse? will james barlow get fat like gary barlow?

    anyway ‘bristolgraffiti’ your inability to understand the simple idea behind tags, and their obvious link with full colour pieces (which are just big tags, done for the same reasons, and more often than not you rave about them) is tragic, at least for a person with a blog about “graf”. or maybe you’re just being disingenuous.

  10. Ken Bigley

    Abi titmus^ if you are a woman i wanna marry you…

    I think fair play to them.
    This train station used to be covered in ‘ill eagle’ graffiti. Now some people at the council have PAID SOME PEOPLE MONEY to paint over it with “council approved” graff.
    Then their work gets to stay there on the train station, without risk of removal, where it doesn’t belong because they didn’t risk anything to put it there, they were provided free paint and all the time in the world to do it.

    It’s not art.
    Try and cover up graffiti with art if you want, but don’t shit yourself when graffiti covers up art.

    And what a ridiculous comment you’ve made about them killer ghosts, assuming they have a message and deep meaning therefore are better than a simple piece of graffiti.
    On that basis do you deem a weird foreign art film good, even though it’s poorly made an impossible to understand just because you assume it has a meaning?
    These pieces, as with all real graffiti, seem to have a message,^ the message is simple:

    “I’m here, I don’t much care for the rules, I’ve got style.”

    Message me if you like.

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