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Graffiti Around the Southland: Youthful Art or Vandalism?

May 07, 1988

Irresponsible is the only term that adequately describes Citron's front-page story on graffiti, which one expert in the story calls a "benign form of rebellion." The extensive piece even includes a photo of one of these implied heroes defacing an RTD bus.

The story would have us believe that Robin Hood is back--only, this time, his trusty longbow has been replaced by an aerosol can, glass cutter and felt-tipped pens, and now he "shares" with rich and poor alike.

I wonder by what logic the territorial scrawlings of the gangs are examples of hostility toward society, while equally unattractive defacements committed by overprivileged air-heads can be classified as "art." Can we expect a follow-up story extolling the talents of all the "artists" who dump fast-food wrappers and general trash along our streets and highways?

In fact, if Citron and (apparently) The Times find defacement of private property a valid art form, why not invite "Never," "Drone," "Vector" and all their friends down to Times Mirror Square and let them paint your private property?

Michael Stills--one of the "artists" mentioned--is quoted in the closing paragraph: "People know we're here, but they don't want to accept us. . . . I'd like to see all of us get the recognition we deserve."

I agree, Michael. If laws permitted, I'd recommend a fat lip, a lawsuit and about a year in jail.

THOMAS D. THOMAS

Pacific Palisades

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