Thursday, September 9, 2010

Graffiti different to vandalism

THERE is a big difference between graffiti art and vandalism – just ask professional graffiti artists Jake Shearer and Dan Burke.
As the pair took breaks from painting the skate bowl at Kemmis Park yesterday, both said there was a “knack” to using a spray can properly. 
“Anyone can go down there and write ‘I was here’,” Mr Burke, 36, said.
Mr Shearman, 21, added: “There is a technique and skill about it... with a lot of graffiti around Mackay they’re (vandals) not really doing anything but scribbling. It’s not like a big city like Brisbane where legal graffiti is getting a reputation.”
Many councils, particularly in urban Australia, are paying professional graffiti artists to paint murals in graffiti prone areas in a bid to curb unwanted tags and graffiti.
While some people may claim that graffiti art actually promotes vandalism, both Mr Burke and Mr Shearer believed it had the opposite effect.
“It’s showing them there’s a better way of doing it,” Mr Shearer said.
Mr Burke said youths were less likely to vandalise graffiti done by a professional.
“They would prefer us to do legals to deter the illegal stuff,” he said.
Both men have been drawing graffiti sketches since their early teens and agree there is a right and wrong way for youths go about graffiti.
Mr Burke urged youth interested in the art to practise their sketches on paper rather than getting out spray cans.
“Kids who are interested in it should get sketch pads – don’t even touch a spray can,” he said.
Mr Shearer said there was no need to vandalise public or private property.
“I’d rather them go and do sketches and to do it properly and not destroy our neighbourhood,” he said. “There are plenty of places where they can do it legally.”
Mr Burke said he believed that youths spray painted tags to win over their peers.
“They do it as a status thing,” he said.
But Mr Shearer, who admitted to doing graffiti when he was younger, said he wasn’t so sure.
“Who knows what goes through the minds of kids these days,” he said. “The kids need to give it away and concentrate on their art.”

Taken from: Daily Mercury

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