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Illegal Rainbows

Graffiti artist Rainbow Warrior in Albuquerque finds drab buildings and "improves" them by spilling paint to pour "illegal rainbows"
off their tops.

City officials are angry and threaten to go after the "knuckleheads" behind the scheme, but Ingrid Fetell of Aesthetics of Joy asks whether the rainbows - while illegal - can still be joyful:

I find this tension – between the forbidden act of graffiti, technically vandalism, and the delight people are discovering as a consequence – acutely compelling. Is an illegal rainbow still joyful? Here’s a letter writer commenting on the rainbow warrior situation:

So, somebody lays down a rainbow on the thing, a piece of art (and yes, it is art, even if it is “free,” and maybe especially so) that pokes fun at the mess, that makes me grin and say, “That’s a little better!” As a life-long citizen of Albuquerque, as someone
who has had his very personal property damaged by genuinely malicious individuals: this isn’t the same thing. Is it graffiti? Yeah. Is it the same as somebody tagging a vulgar word on the car my parents gave me when I went to college? No. The intention of the rainbows is perhaps mischievous, but it is definitely not malicious. The intention, and the execution, is a wink, a laugh, a little unexpected burst. Worth a slap on the wrist and a good talking to, nothing more.

Link - via swissmiss

I don't get why graffiti artists don't just get permission. If what they want to do is art or something positive, why not just ask the owner if they can do it before they do it? I understand why vandals, of the dirty word and scrawled "tag" variety don't ask, but why don't "artists"? They obviously pick the locations on purpose and go to the effort of making something. What's the point in not just taking a little extra effort to explain what they want to do and get the okay? That way, they'd still have their art they wanted right where they wanted to have it, and not have any question as to it's legality or welcome status.
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I enjoy the rainbows and the graffiti (when it's not just a simple adolescent tag). The problem is these rainbows are missing a color...right? Should have 7 colors?
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If they get permission, then they're sellouts and can't call themsleves "guerilla artists". That is what it's all about, in the end: the street cred with your artsy friends.
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"Worth a slap on the wrist and a good talking to, nothing more."? C'mon.

I enjoy the art. I even enjoy the guerrilla artist thing. But I'd enjoy it even more if these people had the decency and same self-initiative to "guerrilla cleanup" their "nudge-nudge, wink-wink, have-a-laugh, and unexpected bursts" after thieving their free publicity and gallery space.

The fact that the property owner has no say in the "art" is what makes it a violation. Just imagine if you were out in your best suit and someone sprayed "art" all over it, "nudge-nudge, wink-wink, have-a-laugh, ha-ha", or someone did the same to "improve" your car, "improve" your make-up, or "trick-out" your laptop, how would you like it?

The fact that they never bother to clean it up or pay for the expense and effort required to do so is what makes it irredeemably malicious.

It probably cost the guy no more than 10 minutes and an adrenalin rush to pour $60 worth of cheap paint. But to clean it up, with cost of scaffold rentals, labour, materials, insurance liability for workers, etc., you're probably looking at minimum $7-10,000 worth of repairs.

Grow a brain. Be an adult. There's a reason parents use magnets to display their kids' "art" on the fridge door instead of letting them spray-bomb the family home.
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LISTEN EVERYONE lock the doors and shut the curtains before the youths come and spray paint your cowering body!

When that cheaply made monstrosity is demolished (probably within in our lifetimes) are we even going to think twice?

It is your irrational and selfish fear that -god forbid- YOU will be the next victim of some 'distasteful' attack which in turn justifies your alienation for the basic human necessity of expression.

Please go back to watching your game shows and it will all just become out of sight & out of mind.
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Mindy, sorry but that was such a buzz kill. I'm usually the first one to propogate rules and order. I was the kid who obsessed over making sure everyone got the same amount of Kool-aide in their glass. But, you know what? I saw those rainbows and it made me want to go make the world a happier place. Let your hair down every once in a while.
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"It definitely fails the "What if everybody did that" test."

Actually, it fails the "Is this your f***ing property?" test.
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Hi Longflight, the Original Rainbow flag as designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978 has 6 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple - in that order, red always on top.

Happy & proud 2011
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Something that happened in the "my" city. YAY.

I do agree with what Mindy has said - but I would like to point out that the property still sits half constructed and an eyesore to the downtown skyline.

I will have to say - it was beautiful to see when it went up. It made me remember when I was a kid and loooooved rainbows. And life was simple.

I had actually thought it was paid for and put there legally. To maybe spruce up that building while it was in "limbo".
When I had read artist's comments regarding it, it made me smile. " I remember being a child and being able to wear a rainbow to school. It was just a rainbow. It symbolized future and promise and dreams. Imagination. I kinda want to just give that back to people. When they see that, maybe they’re having a rough day or a rough year or life and they can just look at it and find peace for a second and remember what rainbows meant when they were a kid,"

However - It is private property so it is vandalism aaaaand my tax dollars went to the clean up of the art.
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