Thursday, March 24, 2011

Street Artist and Police in Role Reversal


The Vancouver Police have taken their response to graffiti one step further. They have added their own graffiti-like stencils over the work of street artists. The police’s message, “Steal a bait car go to jail,” was meant to intimidate car thieves. In the cultural loop of subversion-co-optation-subversion, one graffiti artist resorted to the tactics of the censors, covering the police-made images with white paint. The anonymous creation of a blank wall over the police stencil was captured on video and posted online. Incidentally, in the video an angry citizen tries to stop the hooded painter from “defacing” the cop stencil. When that fails, the citizen appears to call the police.

Source: Geez magazine, vol. 21 (spring 2011), p 16. (via Bob Buchanan of )

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