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Graffiti Taggers and the Notoriety They've Achieved

June 14, 1992

After reading your story, "Former Graffiti Tagger . . . " (Westside Section, June 7) I can't help wondering why The Times continually heaps praise on admitted vandals while Los Angeles is struggling to cope with a massive graffiti problem.

What does The Times say to the homeowner and/or business person whose property has been damaged by Jose Gomez? "Sorry, that's the price you have to pay to help a struggling artist achieve notoriety?" By elevating Jose Gomez and Chaka to serious artist status you have inspired hundreds of juvenile taggers to continue to pursue vandal art studies with the hope that one day they too will be recognized by The Times as serious artists.

The Times should invite taggers from throughout the county of Los Angeles to paint the wall of the Times Mirror Building. Afterward, the Times art critic can evaluate the work of each artist. Then The Times' maintenance crew can figure out how to remove the mess. Maybe then The Times will understand the outrage that those of us who combat graffiti on a daily basis feel when we read glowing articles like "Former Graffiti Tagger . . . ."

On the issue of graffiti vandalism The Times has truly shirked its duty to the public.

SEAN McCARTHY

Los Angeles

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