Why is vandalism beautiful?

Art is pretty much a very broad word and yet at the same time it can be quite a rather impossible task to actually define it. It feels to me that art is it’s own universe and it can be difficult to speak about it on it’s broadest level. There are so many different forms of art and each has its own definition and its own way of being beautiful or meaning something. But honestly, art has its purest meaning within each of our minds. Art is subjective to the individual. I mean you can hate a piece or love a piece but neither opinion is wrong. Art has no limitations and to me vandalism is a beautiful thing. I feel this way for many reasons and one of them is we are simply brave. Most people are not willing to break the law, run from the cops, and are afraid of jail. We risk everything to express ourselves. If you speak about vandalism or graffiti as an art form you have to differ between the quality of the different works. When I see a crazy handstyle on a wall, I flip out. People that don’t affiliate well with graffiti. I don’t even think most of the world is educated enough to know the difference between tags, throws, or pieces. They put everything in the same basket. At the current moment, the term toys comes to mind. We can’t have graffiti without toys, but at the same time I think that the toys have hindered the popularity of graffiti which is getting closer to its prime now! So paint the world and keep the revolution going until our culture can have the respect it deserves.

For me there is a big gap between vandalism and art. Most of the tags I see when I walk around the city I consider to be vandalism because they have no style, no hard work, and no thought behind it. These are just kids tagging around the city whom are not even putting any form of love into their graffiti. When there is no true love of lettering, these will be the people who are somewhat of a shame for the world not truly appreciating graffiti. I can’t see that as art. But when I see murder throws, crazy handstyles, or pieces, I call it art for sure. Because the creators put 110% into their love for letters, they dedicate hundreds of hours into their passion. That’s art for me. The whole process that you see behind a piece, the perfect flow in a tag or handstyle.


What are the dangers of graffiti?

Already, my second piece that I ever did got me into trouble. That was like 6 years ago. Let me tell you that running around with cans in broad daylight is not a very good idea. We were not really smart but we were only 16 years old. So let’s get to the story, there was a huge abandoned chemical industrial building that we broke into. We painted a really crappy piece; I even taped out the outlines. We found a fire extinguisher and of course we made ourselves a big cloud of white dust. Suddenly there were two guys walking through the smoke. Me and two of my friends ran to the left and right, I went to a corner. Then suddenly a guy grabbed me and so I ran. I smashed my bag of cans into his stomach. We ran like crazy, I am glad I was fit at that age. In the end, we were gone like ninjas.

I have had a few silent years now. I have only been to the police station one time. We went painting an illegal wall and had a bucket of paint with us. So my mate “mora” tagged on the top of the train, thinking he was so cool. We went back to the train station where were waiting for  the the train to come. Suddenly three train police guys came around the corner and walked by us. The oldest one turned his head and saw the tag on the bucket and boom, “ID please.” He was so horny on busting some graffiti writers that he even tried to play some psychological game to get something out of us. His partners then checked our identities. Then they checked our blackbooks and so on, they didn’t find shit. So we left.


How is it as a young writer?

Oh by the way, I forgot to mention my name is Clone. As a young writer it’s not easy to get into the game or to get to know writers that will try to push your talent. The older writers, let’s say 28 plus, have their own crews, have the connections they need, and in addition are like their own generation. It’s hard to get into these circles as a young writer, it’s not easy to get recognized. That’s why you don’t get invited to jams often. For me painting at jams, even though it’s not often, is my biggest achievement. When I get invited to a jam that is the best.  I have painted with writers from all around Switzerland and even international artists, that’s what I love about graffiti. Meeting new people, chilling, painting, and having a good time. In the future, I will have bigger goals, but for now at my age I really just want to have a good time, travel around and meet new writers.


Why do you think people hate vandalism…why do we love it?

For this world of culture, some of the ugly vandalistic handwriting has ruined and left a big smudge on a beautiful misunderstood world. They just don’t see the work behind it, they don’t understand the beauty of letters. If they would look close and check out the styles, they would maybe recognize how skilled some of these writers are. It’s not easy to do a blockbuster, the outlines have to be right, every letter has to have the same height, length and so on. It’s not as easy as you think it is. Now graffiti as a whole is more and more appreciated as an art form when people see a blockbuster, they will think twice when they see a piece. Maybe if people would look outside the window when they are on a train instead of staring into their smartphones, they could see and feel what we feel. Then they couldn’t ignore the beauty of the painted train-lines, they will see that without Graffiti there would be raw grey walls. Ugly and naked.


What are you currently doing for art now, and do you have any future plans

Keep doing, never sit on your talent and get lazy. Go out, paint, sketch, every day. Never be satisfied with the work, motivate myself everyday to get better. Also I’m doing more canvas work to gain experience and to have a bit of an income while I’m studying to afford cans and markers. In the future my goal will be to travel to as many places as possible and to meet new writers and go to jams all over the world!


Yo can i give a few shouts for the end of the interview?

So shouts: Shout-out to my crew Duplexbrothers, yo Rotom, Mora, Rems, and Siek! Greetings to Ahimsa and the Ohana Magazine and their amazing work for the hip hop community!






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About The Author

Richard Whitaker
Artist and Writer

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