The controversial and the just plain wrong

Sometimes the art world is full of good news and smart people. Not today.

  • In LA, photographer Jonas Lara was arrested back in February while taking pictures of graffiti writers working on an unauthorized piece. After police changed their minds multiple times, in the end he has been charged with aiding and abetting. His trial is scheduled for this coming Tuesday May 11th. PDN Pulse has the story so far. If he’s convicted, it certainly wouldn’t be a good sign for other photographers of street art and graffiti (or photographers of gangs, illegal immigrants or many other things for that matter).
  • Roger Waters of Pink Floyd has hired some folks to wheatpaste a quote for President Eisenhower around the country for him in order to promote his upcoming tour. One of those awkward situations. Since it’s not a blatant advert, I suppose it’s equivalent to Banksy putting up work in Utah right before his film premieres at Sundance, but that was already controversial. Where this gets bad though is that one of these posters ended up covering the wall that was photographed for the cover of Elliott Smith’s album Figure 8, which has become a bit of a memorial to Smith (even if the wall is pretty damaged now). LA Weekly has the full story.
  • The Sun, a UK “newspaper,” had an interesting front page today (it’s election day here).
  • Some guy in Australia is all upset about Banksy coming to town and he’s written an article with the headline Hey Banksy, graffiti is vandalism not art for the Sydney Morning Herald. There’s certainly an argument that can be made for all graffiti writers and street artists to be thrown in prison and whatnot and all their artwork should be removed, but the article is so poorly researched that it becomes hard to read.