Thursday, July 12, 2018

SF Weekly is sad about the arrest of "artists"

San Francisco supervisor Matt Gonzalez attends an opening in his City Hall office. Artist Barry McGee created the piece behind Gonzalez. MUST CREDIT: ALAN BAMBERGER /ARTBUSINESS.COM/SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE Photo: ALAN BAMBERGER /ARTBUSINESS.COM/
Great moment in the history of vandalism

The San Francisco Weekly has a history of supporting graffiti/tagging vandalism in the city, apparently to cater to the juvenile punk market.

The defunct Bay Guardian used to compete with the Weekly for the punk vandalism market. The Guardian's Tim Redmond thought---probably still thinks---that graffiti/tagging "gives the city a nice flavor." (See also the Guardian on "true city living.")

Progressive hero from days of yore, Matt Gonzalez, allowed a tagging vandal to deface his office walls when he was District 5 Supervisor.

The Weekly is at it again in its description of the city's recent crackdown on the vandals: City Cracks Down on Graffiti Artists. 

As the hed tells us, the city is in reality cracking down on "artists":

San Francisco’s underground graffiti scene is usually appreciated, with art galleries and local publications showing respect. But not everyone loves a tag, particularly when it ends up on their home or storefront. In recent years, some artists’ work has become overly prevalent, such as the large-scale sketch of Bart Simpson with a four on his forehead, which even today can be spotted on walls, Muni shelters, and sidewalks around town. When a tag gets that big, the artist best watch out, because SFPD is on the prowl.

Because, like, dudes, you understand that the Blue Meanies hate art:

On Tuesday, District Attorney George Gascón announced that seven artists have been charged with tagging small businesses and recreational spaces...“We’re working closely with the police department to identify and hold accountable the most prolific vandals, who cost the city over $20 million per year,” Gascón says. “Individuals like these are behind the city’s property crime challenge. By tying them to multiple incidents, we can ensure they face consequences equal to their impact on our community.”

For some reason, the punks prefer vandalizing Chinatown:

For small business owners — particularly in Chinatown, where much of the tagging takes place — these arrests and charges are a good thing. It costs an estimated $3,370 to remove a graffiti tag, and the city fines business owners who don’t comply. “Graffiti has always been a problem in Chinatown. They for some reason always pick on us,” Eva Lee, the head of the Chinatown Merchants Association, said on Tuesday, as she expressed her gratitude to SFPD.

The vandals' mug shots in the Chronicle.

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