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At Least Make Your Graffiti Meaningful...

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spotted in Hollywood on Gower at Franklin

... before someone calls 311 and gets it abated. I'm a big fan of graffiti art. But I'm also a big fan of getting rid of it.

How can I contradict myself like that? To me it is like a game and I'm always going to win. I enjoy some of graffiti, but it's still illegal. Artist enjoy making it and partly because of the lure of it being illegal. If graffiti was not illegal, where would those artists be today?

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How I am defining graffiti? It doesn't matter if it is a poster or a tag or if it's juvenile or really fucking cool. Graffiti is anything that does not have permission to be there. That's pretty much the City of Los Angeles definition anyway.

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The 101 underpass on Gower St. in Hollywood

To me, I like certain street art graffiti (see Project Rabbit, Berd or above photos) because it is spontaneous, amusing, whimsical, or thought provoking. It's nice to break up the visual patterns of streets and paths you cross frequently. Remember the end of the movie Amelie? Yeah, that magical feeling.

But it can't stay forever. As someone who is on a neighborhood council and gets to hear all about the graffiti complaints, I hear none about the creative ones. On the other hand, I get an earful on tagger tags. And those are the ones that disappear within a day or two.

Hardly complained about, good street art that is placed well tends to fade into death naturally. And that is part of the beauty.

Photos by Zach Behrens/LAist