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If that's what equals a "priority", then yes, graffiti abatement should be a "priority" for the city. I can only assume "non-priority" means doing nothing at all.
I've gone threw many cans of [flat black] stray paint over the past few years either for art projects, furniture, my bedroom, etc. Most of my purchases have been done at SE Hawthorne Fred-Meyers, especially when i still lived in the Belmont/Hawthrone area. Each time i've had to flag down a clerk, point to the can of paint i wanted, have them pick it out, hand over my ID, they had to write down my info., i had to scribble down my signature, THEN they would hand me the paint.
This absurd process has resulted in NO decrease in tagging along my old neibourhood! If anything, i've noticed an increase. The Triple Nickel on Belmont in particular seems to get hit up every few days.
Although when someone graffiti'ed the "Deaf Children" sign to read "Deaf Children Hear"... I thought that one was trying to be too profound and failing miserably. It just makes me groan every time I see it. We can do better than that, guys!
I don't want to look at 98% junk, so that one true street artist can have a legal canvas. Especially, when he could just be using, you know, a canvas.
If it was all Banksy, I could live with it....but it isn't even close.
But then you still have the problem of folks foisting their own views of 'art' on others.
Down by the traintracks is cool. The rest of it just cheapens the city.
I had an interaction with one of the volunteers last week. They've been attempting to clean some of our newspaper boxes not understanding that they are private property. They have done a fair amount of good and I appreciate what they are trying to do, but in the same turn they and the regular abatement people have ruined the powder coating and plexiglass on our boxes.
The "war" on graffiti is a waste of money. They should put that money into fighting drug use or prostitution. Jokes. I have them.
I hate the crappy half assed scroll tags as much as the next person, but attacking a gallery, its show & artist is complete crap.
Aggressive buffing only creates bad graffiti. Taggers will NEVER stop and abatement is only viewed as a battle cry. But those who want to do something nicer are deterred. Graffiti abatement has NEVER worked in any city in the world. Just ask SF, Chicago, and NY how it has worked out for them.
BTW, out of town visitors always ask me "Why isn't there graffiti here?". It is not because of the buffing but because compared to most other cities around the world we barely have graffiti here. Bend has more graffiti than Portland.
my friend and i have been accused of painting a wall in the brooklyn neighborhood, one that was covered in said "crappy" tags that suggested gang activity and also were an eyesore. the police found us in the area when the wall in question had wet paint on it--it was basically a waterfall of various colors, nothing explicitly offensive or in promotion of violence, etc. there was a also a tree, a bird, a heart, and a mountain. i bring this up because the city is asking for restitution of over $8000. today i went to the area and saw that the "graffiti" had been painted over, not the entire wall, but just where images and colors had been. does this really cost the city $8000? and this is why i think its interesting that the budget is so high and also that they didnt need to wait for the restitution to remove the "graffiti".
on a side note, they do consider it a priority, it even said "PRIORITY" on the monitor in the cop car when i was sitting in it.
All good street and graffiti artists started off tagging and making a mess.
If the laws were less strict and people werent so quick to call the police, kids would have the time to put something nice on the walls instead of quickly scribbling everywhere.
For example ALL OF EUROPE.
Europe does not have felonies, they arent putting taggers in jail and in return they recieve the most beautiful street art ever. Berlin looks amazing, madrid colorfull. All done by kids with the same intentions as the youth in portland.
Only portland chooses to abuse the youth who risk everything for a small ammount of uncontrollable artistic expression.