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Battle Erupts Between Muralists and Taggers
Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy Kenshin Tomoshima/CNN | September 4, 2014
"THIS ISNT ART. ITS WAR."
Tensions are rising between SF's established street artists and taggers, according to this report from CNN that is basically the only thing we've been paying attention to all morning.
According to the story, "a rolling population of taggers has been wreaking havoc on many of the best murals, by hurriedly spray-painting initials, names, words, acronyms and other lettering across the majestic urban displays."
The conflict centers most prominently at Clarion Alley, the Mission District's famous open-air art gallery that all your friends from Brooklyn want you to take them to see every time they're in town, even though you live in the Richmond District and it's 10 o'clock at night and you have to work tomorrow. Artist Mats Stromberg's 2013 mural, called "Giant Selfie" has been defaced twice. In July, someone—presumably named Blake—tagged the name Blake over the mural in silver letters.
Stromberg painted it over, but in August Blake struck back, painting black letters that read, "THIS ISNT ART. ITS WAR. BLAKE." After that, Stromberg repainted, but incorporated the tag, rather than erasing it, telling CNN, "The tags inspire new visual vocabularies I would not have thought to paint, had the piece not been tagged."