May 302011

What do you think of tagging?  I’m not talking about graffiti here, but tagging, where people spray or paint stylised letters on walls, doors and windows around towns.

My opinion is no secret.  I think it’s the human equivalent of pissing against lamp-posts,. but I also think it’s a mark of absolute arrogance, selfishness and lack of concern for other people.

Why do I say this?  Because neither you nor I have any say in whether some twat with a spray-can decides to make his mark on our property.  Furthermore, said twat has already decided that his aesthetic sensibilities are superior to yours and if he wants to put evidence of his genius on your wall or door, he’ll do so, regardless of what you think about it.

That, in my opinion, is the most infantile form of self-indulgence imaginable.  I wonder if these fools ever heard the word “No” in their entire adolescent lives?

Monumental arrogance, and stupidity, all rolled into one.

Now, I’m not suggesting that graffiti is bad, providing it’s done with respect, which is a quality we seem to have forgotten in this country, from the thieving bankers to the corrupt government we struggled under for so long.  In fact, I’m not talking about graffiti at all.  I’m talking about people who think that being able to write a few letters on a wall is art.  And even if it was art, since when did artists have a licence to paint over your property or mine?  Since when did anyone have the right to take that choice away from you or me?

I remember a song by Michelle Shocked a few years back called Graffiti Limbo. It was  about a young black graffiti artist, Michael Stewart, who was killed by New York transit cops for spray painting in a subway station.   Michael Stewart was murdered for making graffiti.

Now that’s extreme.  That’s ridiculous.

It’s even more extreme than the mindset that believes it has the right to deface your home whether you like it or not.  But if some kid stood in front of me and sprayed my wall after I had just painted it, I’d be sorely tempted to thump him.  How about you?

A friend of mine — somebody involved in art, as it happens — caught a graffiti artist spraying the wall of the place where he works.  When he took the spray can off the artist and redecorated his clothes and face, suddenly, the artist no longer believed in freedom of expression.  Isn’t that amazing?

Tagging seems to be a hobby for people who never grasped the concept of personal responsibility.


Meanwhile, disregarding the people who scrawl on walls, here are some more interesting examples of graffiti I happened to notice today.






  117 Responses to “Graffiti, Tagging, Art and Vandalism”

Comments (117)

    It’s a thin line between, tagging and grafitti. Some Nimrod around Dooradoyle and Raheen has started spraying Dayglo pink eels ??? around the manhole covers in an attempt to tag / graffit, whatever ?

    As a teenager you cannot differentiate between tag/ Grafitti, and as a result the area is defaced, the initiative in Limerick last year promoting grafitti was a disaster in my opinion.

    Garryowen rugby club paid the wrong Company to come and remove some of it last week, but they didn’t remove the most offensive stuff which my kids walk past everyday. I used to remove the worst excesses myself, the 4 foot penises etc., but it seems to have taken on a life of it’s own, and become a full time job, and I have one of those.

    Who was that mysterious businessman cleaning up for free ? ( other than me )

    I see Companies being paid in these difficult time to come and clean up around Meadowlawn, on the one hand job creation, on the other wanton vandalism, and a waste of resource.


    I think that mysterious businessman has a personal a hang-up about all graffiti, good and bad. So maybe we should leave him outside the door.


    Real graffitti is great. Bad tagging is vandalism. There are plenty of places around town that would greatly benefit from some real graffitti.


    the big dragon is my work, painrted while i paid rent on those premises, and lo! somebody tagged his chin, am i cross? not at all, his expression is as valid as mine or any other twat. is it okay to leave a building in any state u desire or paint it an awful colour or hang billboards off of it as long as you have the money to buy a claim of ownership?


    A friend of mine in Dublin who is a legitimate graffiti artist in Dublin was always appalled at the quality of tagging seen on various building and city streets. His argument was that they were just selfish,irresponsible self centered types (teenagers) who had no clue about the idea or history of Graffiti as an art form. Ironically, he worked himself in a well known shop in Temple Bar that supplied the proper spray paints used by Graffiti artists. I remember visiting him one Saturday afternoon and watched him sell some paint to some teenage lads. He, in fairness, gave them a kinda older brother spiel about the aesthetics of graffiti but I knew by the excuses he made after they had left that he wasn’t 100% comfortable with the sale. I suppose my point is that there is no line between Tagging and Graffiti. The lads doing this kind thing are the same brains that drive at breakneck speed into a county ditch at 5 in the morning.Tagging came from the gang cultures in America as crude form of marking territory but was developed by people with artistic talent into something which I think most people appreciate (bar mysterious businessman). The background to tagging was the undeveloped rundown urban sprawl of New York and Chicago. Not very pretty places to begin with. There is a social and historical context to its existence. Now it’s purely an exercise in kicks by self centered teenagers (based on the examples you’ve shown).The areas of the brain that are used by humans in areas like social responsibility, controlling impulses are’t fully developed till your twenty. I liked you friends response to the lad caught tagging outside his building. Humiliate them with a little irony because they are humiliating us with their lack of “talent”.


    doctor j –It’s good that you don’t mind being tagged, but how do you feel about people who object to their homes being sprayed?


    Like everything in life, there are standards, good quality and bad quality, scrawling some barely legible name badly on a shop window is the equivolent of playing Jedwards drivel on an out of tune guitar with rusty strings, both are offensive to the senses and both are utter shite.


    I have an interview for an Art, Craft and Design course on Wednesday, I cant help but wonder if I do a 160 page portfolio of my “tag” in different colours, would the examiner consider it to be good enough to secure my placement?? I highly doubt it.


    Well you know my opinion on it.
    I reckon even stylised and ten-foot tall colour -shaded abstract lettering is still a wasted opportunity to actually express something and that the calligraphic repetition of one’s name (or a euphemism for one’s name) makes no more of a statement other than: ‘I was here-aren’t I great?-i did some ‘being’ in a place’ …Wow. sorry,- but it’s about as artistically valid as anything by Tracy Emin.
    tonight I passed somebody, not employed by Limerick City, removing an ugly pink tag and I shook that persons hand and thought to myself: ‘Aint the interweb wonderful?’ In fairness, wouldn’t it be great if the self-appointed decorators of the city gave us something that was so clever and cool and challenging that it would shut-up all their detractors?
    ‘Detractors’ vs ‘Decorators’ all you have to do is demonstrate either creativity or thought and we shall be beaten.
    Please please please win. I’m tired of the cowardice of tagging and hungry for courage of actual statements or creations or anything with a bit of you in it apart from your fucking handwriting.


    Yes bock, its me from facebook.. I was deleted from bocks facebook page, as i put up a arguement and i didnt agree with what bock had to say on some points.. So advice so anyone who wants to give their own opinions and views, if bock doesnt like it or agree with it, he will bitch about you and remove you


    darren, i cleaned that tag, i also gave the 30 foot dragon you see above, i’m trying to do good things, if only more would instead of whining and opining.
    bock, as i told u at least three times already, tagging peoples homes is disrespectful, why do u keep asking the same question over and over? my answer is not going to change.


    What category would the murals above in the north fall into?


    That’s right Ian. I don’t want you on my Facebook list. Did you think you had some right to be there?


    Some well executed. Some shite.


    Ooh look i bet this will be deleted as i went against bock


    Of course it won’t be deleted, Ian. Were any of your other comments deleted?


    1) The human equivalent of pissing up against a lamp-post is not tagging, it is fencing.

    2) Any argument you are trying to make on grounds of reason is instantly undermined by labelling and, “tagging”, if you will, of those whom you disagree with as “twats” etc.

    3) Do you not see the inherent hypocrisy in describing someone as a twat because they have decided that their sense of aesthetic is superior to others when you are writing a manifesto as to why it is your aesthetic sense is superior to those?

    4) Tagging is “the most infantile form of self indulgence imaginable”. Pretty damning assessment of your own imagination there.

    5) Pretty sure “graffiti” cannot be done with respect, at least for that which it is intended to comment upon. Perhaps you need a little more time with the concept?

    6) Yes, murder is a little more extreme than tagging. Salient point.

    7) Your friend, the one who committed assault, sounds like he really has his priorities straight. I think you’ll find vandalism of property a little lower down on the scale of punishable offences than say, vandalism of sentient beings.

    8) Idiotic blogging bothers me more than tagging. To a critical eye, one might say they involve many of the same self-indulgent attributes which you find so reprehensible in tagging. Perhaps Jung was correct when he observed that nothing that is not a part of our own natures can bother us?


    Doctor J:
    Well done, and very cool dragon b.t.w.

    P: Surely the oul’ Bloggerage is a bit different? – Bloggerel is only ever seen by those who actively seek to view it, and unlike one of these ‘wall-scribbly things’ actually opens up argument to different opinions. It is particularly conducive to the type of reply/debate and dialogue that you yourself have already taken part in here, so I’m not sure I’d agree with the inference that Bock is more or less doing the exact same thing as someone who writes their name on a wall and runs away . I don’t think that’s exactly true.


    It’s all vandalism if you don’t have permission of the property owner really..
    I don’t think any of it is attractive in any event.
    Would they not stick to the aul colouring books or something?
    Or better yet, go do some volunteering if there’s nothing to do.


    Darren — I’m only writing on my own wall, and I pay for the privilege. What’s more, nobody has to look at it if they don’t want to. That’s three significant differences.


    Well at the start, i wouldnt blame you, i just went attacting you.. But a few hours later, i was just making points and been smart about it.. And then you deleted me….


    We all choose who goes on our Facebook list. I choose not to have you on it.


    Tagging is the equivalent of having no respect for both people and property. Art and tagging are poles apart and should remain so. If I ever catch the wee bastard who tagged several of my vehicles with pointless smiley faces I’ll shove the spray can up his hole and tag all nine miles of his intestines. He’ll no smile then.


    cheers darren, i had to do something to brighten it up, it was an awful state when i first rented it, down to the owners, a family of local auctioneers one of whom is a district court judge, who had left it in a terrible state of disrepair, not down to young men with spraycans i might add, the railings, the glass, the render, the woodwork and the paint all had to be fixed, profit making commercial property owners really have no right to be leaving so many premises in this way, they are the ones legally responsible for upkeep and pre-agree to such when signing contracts, for me the issue of tagging on such premises is a small one next to that. Private dwellings and public property i do see in a rather different light though.


    haha Jimmy. That’s a bit harsh. : ) It might even be “vandalism of sentient beings.” haha

    What is it with these muppets on this thread?
    “I wanted to be your friend on facebook to attack you and be smart.. and you deleted me.. Wha!
    I’ve no ‘friends’ now!”

    And the jung psycho- babble above from P..

    For fucks sake.


    Mr Bastard. Would you by any chance be interested in visiting and enjoying our lovely city? I’ll put you up.


    Fair enough Darren, I was stretching it there…although (and here I stretch my head some more…watch it gooooo) if we are speaking purely in terms of self indulgence, blogging has got to be up there.


    P — Thanks for losing the waffle. Here’s the difference. Nobody has to look at this site. I have to look at tags every day whether I like it or not.


    As for the words of Carl Gustav Jung. They’re worth checking out, at least before you’re going to dismiss one of the most important contributors to modern thought as “psycho-babble”. I do think he was onto something there.


    Clearly a subject of interest to many BOCK.


    Right enough, interesting stuff.

    Thanks for taking the time.

    By the way, I did make several other points other than the one which was responded to (and I was also careful to simply state what bothered ME, as opposed to the moral wrongs and rights of the thing regarding that one.) While I was blathering a bit for my own amusement, I genuinely do feel you’d be much better served without making insulting attacks on imagined enemies. It does tend to undermine what you are trying to say a good deal. But that’s just free advice and we all know what to do with that…



    My advice to commenters is to prefer the active voice to the passive, the concrete to the abstract, the familiar word to the unfamiliar and the Anglo-Saxon to the Romance. In other words, the standard axioms of good usage. That gets your point across and also gets an answer.


    i tried all of those and not a jot of a straight answer did i receive, did you post them second class?


    If you look back over your first post, I’m afraid to tell you it was pompous, inflated, pretentious tosh. But we can move on from there.


    and mr bastard, you should take up bock’s offer, you, him and his people painting friend could go abusing various parts of local young people as a veritable face paintin, name callin, ass invading posee, now that’s some real gangsta shit bock.


    Like Marsellus Wallace, we could get medieval on their ass.


    and like mr wallace you could get buggered too.


    Could I now? And would you be the one administering this justice?


    has anyone seen the drawings just beyond bahls bridge ( spelling? ) , at the back of the derilect buildings off the dublin road – by the canal ? go through the gate and the building is on your right , adjectent to the canal – featuring some classic , larger then life ( cause the hulk lived) versions of the hulk .
    the cobble stones, the canal and the graffitti seem a good match . my kids loved the good stuff – geko did some good stuff too in his / her day .

    okay , there’s a lot of other shit going on by the canal and the hulk, but the i like the drawings .

    bock, no-one should be allowed to deface other people’s property


    were you addressing me with the pompous, inflated, pretentious comment? do tell as that is something i believe you really do have intimate knowledge of.


    no kid, i don’t do ass.


    Sniffle –they were nice copies of other people’s cartoons.

    Dr J — No. I wasn’t. Read the thread properly. It isn’t always about you.


    P — I agree with you that bloggin’ can bring out the intellectual narcissist in folk, but for me it really still is poles apart from tagging, more akin to standing up on stage in the full knowledge that you might be either booed off or completely ignored. Tagging’s a much more creepy sneaky schemy activity that paradoxically aims for maximum visibility of the action and minimum exposure for the person who does it, a tagger to me is like a heckler who constantly interrupts the performer simply to remind everyone in the room that they are there … somewhere in the dark and at the back with all their equally obnoxious mates around them.

    I certainly can’t see what’s wrong with quoting Jung if that’s what you feel like though….


    When in doubt, quote someone.


    Here in Minneapolis, I have personally taken on the upkeep of the bus enclosure I visit every morning. I’ve scratched the paint off the wall citing Tyree’s love of Kesha and shaved the telephone pole of the initials “FST”. You are correct, Mr. Bock, “tagging” is the visual exclamation of “MINE” to any and all — from the rightful owners to the general public.

    I proposed, in a serious letter to the City Council last year, that vandals be affixed to traffic lights and pelted — at a price to be determined — by citizens with old produce and good aims…



    well done to you on your constructive actions mentioned in your first paragraph pearl, i’m doing the same here in limerick whilst the conversation goes on, all the best, j


    Really, doctor j? How many pieces of vandalism have you removed so far?


    To FME and Bock.. Well no see what actually happened is, also happened another friend of mine.. We tried to reason with bock, proved him, or his friends wrong on some occasions.. He couldnt handle it so he deleted us.. If anyone looks at this comment and doesnt agree with everything bock says, add him as a friend on facebook, go against him and i promise he will delete you.. Bock thinks he is right about everything, im not sayin that to bad mouth him, its genuinely true.. He will never answer your questions, he just repleis with more blabber shit until he realises he has met his match and then he will just delete you.. Sorry bock, but you can live like that, maybe on facebook where you can just delete them, but in reality, you can have your own the whole time.. Maybe thats why you hide on the internet?


    Ian — Your sense of entitlement is beyond belief. Not only do you feel entitled to spray whatever you want, but you also think you have the right to infest people’s Facebook pages and this website. I have news for you, my lad. You don’t. Perhaps for the first time in your short life, someone is telling you NO. It will do you good after you get over the shock.


    To Ian, I think Ian needs to get a life. What ya reckon Ian?

    Bock, you have some stalkers!


    the problem with graffiti, is not that it claims a piece of property as MINE, but that it claims a whole area as MINE. parts of cities can quickly become a no go area as a result of graffiti. although in some rare cases graffiti can become a tourist attraction, for example the falls road.


    Bock, you have yet to respond to the points made. You didn’t like the style, that’s up to you, fair enough, but there is content, yet you simply revert to more attacks which leads me to the “oh well this is a big fat waste of everyone’s time, but most importantly, mine” end of things.

    “When in doubt, quote someone.” Good line. Shame it’s a quote though…

    Darren – very good analogy.



    P — It isn’t tennis. You don’t get to set out your list of issues and demand replies to them all. You get to make your points and if anyone feels like responding, they’re free to do so. Otherwise, we could have people trying to set the agenda of every thread and then I’d have to tell them to behave themselves.


    Regarding use of active and passive voice…I suppose that’s subjective really, isn’t it…nyuk nyuk nyuk.



    They’re not cast-iron rules, but they’ve served generations of people well and they still hold up today. There are some others besides.


    Agreed Bock, it’s not tennis, it’s, at least I thought it was, debate. That generally does consist of point and counter-point, no?

    But of course, this is your blog, so if you wish, you may deftly select which points you feel yourself able to answer in your accustomed manner (mud-slinging, as far as I can see).



    Ahhh Bock, I would be honoured to take a glass or two with you sir. Most kind.

    Doctor J, some good advice. Never again put your words in my mouth to win an argument with someone else.


    When you come visit, I look forward to the good doctor repeating it in person.


    just thaught i’d make few points since i was up untill 3am reading all this .

    i’m a street artist myself and try to uphold some morals in my work i refrain from tagging houses and small buisneses. but as far as assaulting a young graffiti artist that is hardly ethicle.
    one thing bock you need to realise is the history of graffiti it did not start with murals (piece’s) it started with names maybe even small quick little logo’s created by the artist. now in my view this does not differ much from cave painting’s hyroglphy’s and graffiti was even exercised in ancient rome. so idealy it is the oldest form of art and bock if u have kids at home surely you know that u give a kid a marker pen crayon etc. whats the first place they go to draw ? the wall .

    now after your brief history class i hope you can conclued that tagging will always be apart of what we do .

    no offence to what your doing ,providing this service of removing it, it will not stop us ! every artist knows the work is only temporary that is graffiti . by doing what you do altho we don’t like it i mean what graffiti artist in their right mind would ? we get over it and go out and do it even more so u have to “buff” more and we won’t ever stop because we love what we do .

    i have talked to artists about you many ocasions most think your a “c*nt” but i do understand what you do and people will always regard what we do as wrong and i have no bother wiith that better to be looked down on than never looked at in my books

    and to be honest with you i LOVE stuff like this i mean it doesnt take much for someone to go “oh i saw the piece you did it’s really nice ” but for someone to know everyname i’d say and almost everthing about limerick graffiti through his hatred is pretty neat almost like having a super fan :) and also fills me with pride to know that as graffiti artist we are causing uproar this is why we do it ! maybe some artisist don’t like it but this to me is publicity and gets us noticed and thats why we do it it’s anonymous fame thing really

    i think thats all i really have to say for the moment .
    sorry for all spelling and gramar mistakes i’m a dyslexic graffiti artist (irony’s a bitch aye)



    That’s absolutely right. Give a toddler a marker and they’ll draw on a wall unless an adult stops them.

    Well spotted, kid.


    i love how you u scan the first paragraph and respond based on that and didn’t bother commenting on the rest pretty ignorant is you ask me :)

    and i was more focusing on the primal instinct to go to the wall .


    mr tyke — I don’t give a rat’s arse what artist friends think I’m a *cunt*. Would you prefer to live in a world where nobody ever challenges you?


    i just simply made it as a statement that they make, pay atention bocky dear and note that i said i understand what you do and i also said i don’t mind what you do don’t like it but it’s gonna happen and i also stated that what u do causes us to do it more (btw i’ll be expecting a cheque for the extra spray cans i have to buy now :) )

    and i never said anything bout not liking a challenge i mean u ever try climb a roof top in pitch black darkness then try to spraypain up there ? challenging to say the least .


    You’ll have a chance to debate that in an adult way if you sign up for this.

    It’s your choice.


    I apologise in advance if I’ve misinterpreted the points on your post here; but when I read them, this is what they sounded like to me:

    ‘Graffitti’ ( interpreted as marks-on-a-wall ) has a history stretching back through the civilisations of Rome via Egypt all the way back to Cave-painting ( just like slavery does), therefore the modern trend of ‘tagging’ is justified because it’s either traditional or else inevitable, as it stems from a primal instinct older than civilisation itself.

    As any attempts to maintain a cleaner, untainted by tags, public environment can be easily thwarted by a few determined taggers ( as their job is quick and easy, and scrubbing and cleaning are more labour intensive than scribbling ) that means that it’s right to do it. Because it’s easy.

    Simply fact that it angers and depresses folk – is considered by taggers as reward for their efforts as they are ( despite their anonymity and the meaninglessness of their statements) secretly quite desperate for attention.

    I know I must have taken you up wrong.

    Please, if you can, clarify on what grounds you think tagging is okay, because these points make no sense to me..


    Evening all.

    From reading all this. I’ve noted both sides of the war. As I’ve done for some time. Fair enough, You don’t like to see graffiti. Hey, I do Graffiti and I HATE to see some of it too. I can admit to tagging every once in awhile. But I’ve been in arguements with family members and friends over illegal graffiti. Its a shame to ruin someone’s house or small business. But when someone as biased as you comes along its hard to ignore.

    You clearly stated that you love when someone challenges you in life and by the sounds of some of these comments you don’t exactly rise to the challenge, you merely block the opposing side out. Not very fair is it? you seem to have this sort of elitist view on life. actually reading through this blog, alot of people have the same view on life. Now I get paid to do graffiti and by the looks of it, ALOT more people are becoming more and more open to this “Urban Art”.

    I would like to state I’m an active member of the Limerick Youth Service. So I’m not exactly a mindless vandal either. I Know the difference between right and wrong, as you seem to think everyone that does graffiti has no clue of.

    I will gladly make an appearance at this debate, I do enjoy a good aul’ debate.


    So, Mr Tyke, you are comparing graffiti to cave paintings – and I can only assume you’re referring to those in France, Spain, Southern Africa etc. that are potentially 40,000 years old. I find your self-aggrandizement quite laughable to be honest. Yes, I actually laughed out loud.

    It’s kind of like comparing Rembrandt to a fella that draws cocks on a toilet wall.

    Get back in your box Jack.



    “it’s kind of like comparing Rembrandt to a fella that draws cocks on a toilet wall.”

    Hah! Very nice.


    Ali-G – Thank you. As in thank you so much for that. But sadly he’s not going to listen and he’s just going to come back with a super ultra mega bias view on things…


    @ paulie

    if cave men and romans could paint on walls why can’t we ?
    and to be honest i’d rather see a cock drawn in a toilet than a rembrandt .much funnier


    also bock i wonder what you hope to achieve by this to convince us to stop ? not gonna happen , my nan doesn’t like graffiti and i haven’t stoped ,doubt an old bitter man behind a key board ever will


    Oh enough of the Ad Hominum (Roman enough for you?) arguments concerning who Bock is,
    Please explain why it is that you think tagging is justifiable. That’s the question : not if your granny likes it, or if you approve of advertising, or if you worked for the Youth Service or how old you are or how you spend your leisure time, or how more fucked up Galway and Cork look as a result of this type of activity than Limerick does.

    Why is it good, and what’s good about it?


    Tyke, I couldn’t give a fuck what the Romans painted on walls, I didn’t mention them at all. I merely highlighted your vulgar pat-yourself-on-the-back remark about cave paintings.

    You announced that “every artist knows the work is only temporary that is graffiti”. Think about that for a moment and you might realise how idiotic your comparison was.


    There’s been an influx of people who are more used to Bebo. I’m afraid it’s occasionally necessary to weed out people who think they own the place and have the right to free speech on my dime.

    I’m sure it comes as a shock to these pampered kids when somebody tells them NO for the first time in their lives.


    Is that the end then?


    The boy needs to show respect in someone else’s home. Since he can’t even show respect on other people’s front doors, I doubt he’ll be back.




    It isn’t always about you, kid.


    I’m aware of that Mr. Bock. Just enquiring because I really didn’t know who you were talking about.


    Your manners are impeccable. I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with my opinions, especially since I’m so often wrong, but I won’t accept anyone trying to walk over me. I’m quite sure you appreciate the distinction.


    I’m not trying to walk over anyone, I wouldn’t like to be treated in that manner, so even if I am on an opposing side, I would still treat them with some bit of respect. As ya know yourself sure. (this might have sounded cheeky, but was not intended.)


    As I said, the comment doesn’t refer to you. Contrary views are welcome here. Boorish threats are not.


    based on the paintings found in caves, anthropologists were able to get a glimpse of what life was like in the stone age. in 40,000 years time, an anthropologists if he finds tags, will concur that ,its creator took great pride in being able to write his name badly.


    40,000 years of evolution gets us a teenager painting his name on a flower box?

    Mankind is doomed.


    Do you hate children?


    What a stupid fuken comnent.


    I’ve said it before. They can’t stand being disagreed with. These kids have never been told NO in their whole lives and the shock is too much for them.


    Neither do you
    you’re the biggest child here and you’re meant to be an adult.
    yes you are correct in your opinion – tagging is vandalism
    but you are like a 2 year old but anyone who disagrees but you
    grow up?
    this is my opinion. I’m entitled to it.
    Don’t dish it out unless you can take it


    Tyke – Whats an Artist?
    Whats a street Artist?
    Whats the difference between a street artist and lets say Rembrandt?

    I’ve been playing music now professionally for quite some time and I would never call myself an artist.
    You do, so when did you become an Artist? and how do you know when its happened? And at what stage do you think you are entitled to publicly declare yourself as an Artist?
    I’m Just wondering is all. Dont know the answers myself.


    Don’t worry about it Long John Silver – I’ve heard a few contestants on the X Factor refer to themselves as artists before. There mustn’t be much to it.


    wow bock sound for deleting my comments… why did you do that?? because people were agreeing with me not you right?


    Ali — You know why you were deleted. Wanker. But thanks for supplying your details again.


    john, an artist is quite simply defined as somebody who makes a statement with some (however ambiguous) form of social commentary or which elicits an emotive (good or bad) response from another person or persons. bock,if memory serves i have removed or overpainted more than 50 tags in the last few years. mr bastard i would never put anything as toxic as yuor words in my mouth except maybe a cigarette and i’m not tying to win any argument thanks.


    Good definition doc,
    And fairly accurate, —although you must admit that it’s also vague enough to cover anybody who does anything, ( and still doesn’t include the makers of creations which are enjoyed in spite of having no element of social commentary) . Personally, I think of it as a term that more has a lot more weight if people use it to describe you, instead of you using it to describe yourself.
    for ‘you’ read ‘one’- I meant nothing personal.


    When everything is art, nothing is art.


    One should never refer to oneself as an Artist.
    Do your gig whether that is painting, poetry,music, dance, etc.
    And let the people decide what you are.
    Cream usually rises to the top.
    But then again shit floats as well.
    Personally I think its pompous in the extreme to refer to oneself as an artist.
    And if I am to be honest I believe Tagging falls into the shit floats bracket.


    “And let the people decide what you are.”.. I’d say Mr. Tyke is a bit of a clown, Long John.
    I suppose that’s an artist.

    He sounds like a real art aficionado..
    “to be honest i’d rather see a cock drawn in a toilet than a rembrandt .much funnier”


    really sorry to see that u got deleted from facebook again bock, it’s shit, hope it’s only temporary again.


    No. It’s over. An immature, vindictive prick couldn’t take criticism.


    From my own experience, I have never done any kind of tagging or graffiti (unless as a kid with a crayon but that I cannot recall) and I have never been one who leaned towards the artistic side, my closest experience is my own feeble attempts at writing poetry. However, I would not say there is a fine line between tagging and graffiti. In my own interpretation of things, there is a clear distinction between spraying a picture and writing your own name or a made up alias.
    I would instead say there is a fine line between graffiti and art. I have seen the murals in Belfast and massive amounts of graffiti in Rome (at least along the bus ride from the airport to the city centre) and there seemed little difference between the two. Some forms of this can be artistic and I would like to see more of it around the city.
    I do agree with your statement about it being on private property though. No one should have their privacy invaded in such a manner, or the stuff they have worked hard to earn to be so defaced. There are plenty of abandoned houses near the city centre (a few alongside the train station come to mind) which could easily be used as canvas for some tasteful graffiti. These buildings are already an eyesore, a splash of colour would not do any harm.
    At least, that is my opinion on the matter.


    I think that a building scheduled to be demolished is one thing, but a place occupied by people is a different matter.

    When is it permissible to spray paint someone else’s property? For example, is it acceptable to redecorate someone’s guitar without their permission? I think that would, justifiably, get you a black eye if you were lucky, and no-one would argue.

    So why is a house or a shop different?


    That is what I was saying. The houses I mentioned are abandoned with the entrances boarded up. Those properties are obviously going unused and are just falling into disrepair. I think turning them into a canvas is a better option than leaving them to rot. They may not be scheduled for demolition but they might as well be. Other than that, I do not see it as acceptable to spray paint the property where someone actually lives or intends to live. Just to clarify my earlier point as well, spray painting a name/alias is something I will never think of as acceptable. There is nothing artistic about it. Though, as I originally stated, I am not one very familiar in the arts.

    To answer the questions you have posed, it is only permissible to spray paint someone else’s property if you are contracted by that person to do so. But property with no owner, well thats public space isn’t it? Anyone is free to do whatever they wish in those areas, within the confines of the law. If this is illegal activity, I plead ignorance to that fact and I would like if someone could educate me on the matter. I ask, not out of an interest in graffiti but out of an interest in legislature.


    The houses you mention have an owner : the city council. However, I understand your point of view.

    It would be a good thing if the public authorities and artists could work together to improve derelict spaces. My only complaint is about those who think they have a right to mark other people’s property without permission.

    As I said, they wouldn’t do it to your guitar because they know that would be wrong. So why would they do it to your building?

    Besides, if anyone sprayed your guitar, they’d get a punch in the face and everyone would agree they deserved it.


    It’s not art to me, can’t see the sense in it either.


    Graffiti is like doodling when you’re bored.
    Except its some little cocky shit who thinks he has a right to make his mark.


    Kropotnikus correct about the public forum! It sounds like a setup, It reminds of a sting operation that happened in New York in the late 90’s.(There was an add in a New york buy and sell type paper where a casting call for a ‘Graff flick’ movie was advertised looking for subway bombers.)

    All these kids thought they were going to be in a movie and make a break for themselves but were actually being set up by the N.Y.P.D. and subway authorities. The kids revealed their tags and identities, unknowingly on the record which is entrapment, and were slammed with massive fines and some received jail sentences.

    Whether this Forum/thread’s stated above debates Urban Art (as high brow) vrs. Graffiti works (as low brow) miss the point. Before an ‘Urban artist’ starts becoming any bit good they will have to go through the process of being really shit at first. Like any good musician they still can remember the time they were shitty at what they wanted to achieve musically. If something is worthwhile it doesn’t happen overnight.

    Taggers do grow up and I know that if the likes of ‘Geko’ evolve to level of wit and aesthetic such as’Banksy’.
    All the detractors will be singing praises about the evolution of an ignorant graffiti tagger becoming an aware Urban artist of Limerick. It’s a philosopher’s stone type of thing, Kidd!

    Don’t see it happening though, G’luck with that Geko! Any hoops with Graffiti/Urban Art if you had any choice in the matter it would just be as good as advertising which ain’t the point of the fledgling movement in the first place. I also would like to add, that the new wave movement of shitty Limerick graffiti beats the ol’ skool shit out of ‘Up Southill’ and ‘C-IRA’ or such and such ‘… IZ A RAT!!!’ Wah!tastic.


    Oh well, if we’re going to be linking things:

    . Have a look at this then


    I recently had a building Graffiti’d, at my request, because i’m curious about it and what better way i thought but to indulge my curiosity about this emerging and evolving route of creativity but to live with it and see how it impacts first hand.
    I did’nt pay for it, just a friend who is very talented and does this for a living was staying and wondered if a bit of ” Expression ” might work in this environment, i thought why not.
    Initially i was a bit taken aback as it ” does’nt fit in ” and thought about painting over it but it’s growing on me and it certainly is a point of interest, my grandkids and their friends love it and i continue to see something new in it.
    I fully appreciate this is not ” Vandalism or Tagging ” but i do think its representative of a new age of creativity / rebellion / consciousness.


    Yeah, I for one too feel that a bit of expression in any environment is never a bad thing. I always feel why the hell not, too. Ara shura go on says you. I won’t say no.. might as well.


    FFI. Ah, how nice of you to countenance my choices, i would probably appreciate it even more if i understood your peculiar choice of words ” Ara shura ” is a bit beyond my remit…..but i’m sure you deliver it with your inimitable brand of response.


    No bother Norma. How’s things?
    Yeah my peculiar choice of words can sometimes be expressed in a idiosyncratic manner.. but shura ya’d catch the drift of it. Ara shura ya do.
    Did he suggest a bit of expression in this environment with a wink no? :)


    Ara shura draggin the divil by the tail……as they say.
    Had a lifetime of nods and winks…..all done there.
    I have no idea whatsoever what said piece means or represents, it would’nt be my choice of colour, i’m all about neutrals, its completly contra my personal taste but then i’m not at all adverse to fucking things up now and again, keeps it fresh…don’t ya think ?


    Definitely Norma.. spice things up in this environment now and then.
    Good for you.


    PS so I went online to search about tag meanings and even though i’m in melbourne australia this is one of the first things that came up and as I lived in limerick in 2009 i figured i’d say hi and I did all this because: here in melbourne at 3:30am Some drunk just grafittied an illegible tag on my front window. I confronted him (all the while he in a black top and blue jeans and I in my red silk dressing gown) and we conversed for a short while about the quality of his work and the appropriateness of it on my window until he threatened to spray me in the face with the paint. I was able to run faster than he was spray so with more physical exertion than before our conversation continued, but unable to make any progress, with him asking that i ‘step up’ and i requesting he ‘step down’ we both agreed to disagree and he carried on into the night. and now i need to call the building services operator to come and deal with this grafitti.
    Also Darren if you are still reading this thread, a year later, hello.


    The image you annotated features brushed paint, not sprayed.

    I think its clear that you’re not really qualified to decide what is of artistic merit, and what isn’t.


    The image you annotated features brushed paint, not sprayed..

    I think its clear that you’re not really qualified to decide what is of artistic merit, and what isn’t.

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