Some of you may have read in The Australian or elsewhere that Canberra Liberal MLA Steve Pratt has been taking matters into his own hands about that social scourge, GRAFFITI. Quake in your boots, kids.
Steve decided to pull a media stunt and call a few journos together to document his Courage and Wisdom as he put on some rubber gloves and scrubbed off some apparently offending matter under a bridge near the Woden Cemetery. Since then the media have been having a fun time exposing that the offending piece was actually a legitimate piece of community art.
I will add to the fun by adding that the artist in question was our blogging comrade, byrd, whose graffiti skills are pretty damn special. Unfortunately at the moment his site seems not to have its archives intact, so I can't check to see if he's got a pic of the offending mural.
Actually, I just checked again then, but I can't really tell which is the one. What I do know is that byrd got permission to have regular spaces around Canberra, and he used them well. Here is one of my favorite blog posts, showing an underpass in Kaleen:
He does a design and then plays with it over time, like in this case where he changes the tattoo on the girl's arm regularly.
byrd's been living in Qld for the last 18 months, but he is on his way back to live in Canberra, so maybe we can stage a media stunt to reinstate the piece. Great exposure for his work!
At the moment Pratt (it's such a great name, isn't it? Does all the work for us) is doing everything he can to weasel out of the media spotlight, including having a dummyspit about the fact that he researched the spot with one government department -- roads and bridges -- and not another -- community art. Well, as far as I'm concerned, that is the root of the problem, because people like Pratt and his ilk [a] can't tell good spray from bad and [b] don't consider anything out of a frame art. It's sheer bad judgement on his part, and there's really no way around that fact. I mean, does this (what you can see under SP's scrubbing) look like a mosh of tags to you?
Apparently he will be charged with vandalism of public art. I say HOORAY to that. Especially when you see part of the grossly offensive original (thanks to Zoe, who went through the byrd archives with a fine-tooth comb):
[cross-posted at Sarsaparilla]