This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Jerk Street Artist Is Barely Apologetic For Spray Painting Up Joshua Tree
Take a second and try to remember all the way back to February of 2015 when an article published by Modern Hiker accused alleged street artist André Saraiva of tagging up Joshua Tree National Park.
Remember how, on Instagram, Saraiva denied that the tag was in a national park by saying how "This mr was made with love at friends privet back yard and not in your national park! [sic]"? Then, do you remember how Modern Hiker continued their investigation and determined that the tag was, in fact, definitely in Joshua Tree? The comments section raged, filled with accusatory remarks directed towards Saraiva and his wanton disregard of nature and national parks.
Well, Saraiva recently sat down with the L.A. Times, over french pastries in Hollywood, to offer, basically, his apologies for spray painting up a rock in Joshua Tree. As he said to the Times, "Graffiti should only be painted on what humans have built—not on nature's land and rocks... Joshua Tree was the wrong place for it, and I am sorry."
Saraiva also remarked that he was the one who cleaned the marks off the boulder, using a toothbrush, sand and water. He criticizes outlets (just like LAist) for posting an allegedly 20-year-old image of his graffiti on a rock, supposedly in France, as evidence of defacement in Joshua tree.
"As a result," he said to the Times, "park rangers had to spend hours and days searching for nothing."
😥 . It's not like they would have had to spend hours and days searching for nothing if there was no initial tagging.
The Times also chatted with Casey Scheiner, Modern Hiker's editor who initially broke the story. Scheiner said that he questions Saraiva's "whole 'woe is me' attitude... I wonder if he would have taken that attitude if he wouldn't have gotten caught. He had the opportunity to talk to me and clarify things. Instead, his response was instant anger."
Anyway, don't tag up national parks. It's way unchill. Back in May, more than a year after Saraiva was busted, singer Beth Orton thought it was okay to spray paint a protected Joshua Tree just outside the national park for a music video.
Guess what? It's not okay!