I had this idea a few years back, which never went farther than my yakking about it to anyone who would listen, to go around to every piece of Shepard Fairey’s grafitti art I could find and use paint thinner or remover to spell out the word “VANDAL!” over it. (In some variations, the plan involved a website that distributed VANDAL! stencils, since I doubted I’d be able to do it all myself; I don’t think Shepard Fairey does all his grafitti himself).
Then again, it’s kind of interesting:
Pages 8 and 9 contain a long essay entitled “Gentrification: Let’s Give the Artist a Hand.” It accuses the artist-class of being a tool of property establishment– a tool used to redevelop a neighborhood before it’s given part and parcel to the rich, at the expense of the poor residents who lived there in the first place: “An art school degree is a choice; eviction usually isn’t.” Streetartists, according to the Splasher, play a signaling role in gentrification: “by creating a public display of their work on the walls of impoverished areas… (they) advertise to real estate agents that an area is ripe for the picking.” They cite other examples in the East Village in the 1980s and LES in the 1990s, and say that Banksy’s mural in Williamsburg “might have shifted the (neighborhood’s) gentrification into overdrive… We certainly relished destroying it.”