Sara and I have talked a lot about whether or not we should address the issues that have been raised surrounding “the splasher” on the Wooster site. As you can tell by our silence, our stance has been not to say anything at all about it. The truth is that it’s not something that we’re all that interested in, and commenting on it only gives the guy more attention, which is exactly what he wants. The Wooster site is about the inspiration and joy that street art brings, not a showcase for those who want to destroy it.
But things changed a bit today as during a conversation with a reporter from the New York Times, we were asked about it and while we told the writer that we weren’t all that interested in the story, he included a couple of short quotes in a story that ran this morning.
Because the only quote in the article was from us, today’s story in the Times has lead to more reporters calling us for interviews. But our feeling is that we’ve said all that we want to say about the situation in the Times, and aren’t all that interested in talking any more about it to the press.
For us, the situation is pretty simple - it sucks that someone is defacing artwork that people in the city love and connect with. What many people have learned is that while much of this art is done illegally, it beautifies ugly spaces. It counteracts the negative effects of the proliferation of advertising, and adds a lot of joy to the residents of the neighborhoods where street art flourishes. (Not the Upper East Side)
We don’t buy into the pseudo intellectual argument that the activist is claiming to make, because, for us, destroying art is purely a selfish act that has only to do with the person destroying it, not the object of the anger. While claiming to be intellectual, the more you think about what he’s doing the more you realize that it’s completely irrational. And as my mother used to tell me - “It’s not possible to be rational with an irrational person”
The bottom line is that we feel that person who’s destroying the work has probably bullshitted themselves into believing that by destroying art they can get a name for themselves as well. (i.e. How can i get famous?)
What’s unfortunate to us is that now that the mainstream press has picked up on the story, attention is exactly what he’s getting. But our interest is not to fuel his ego any further than it has already been fueled.
The one upside in all of this is the possibility that from articles like the one in the Times this morning, more people will find out that this movement brings a lot of joy to our daily lives and should indeed be celebrated.
The most important line in the Times story is the last one:
“That was a revered and respected piece of art,” he said. “This is just vandalism”