Counter-productive street art

Update: This post is factually inaccurate. As it turns out, Jeice2 did not wheatpaste this poster to the shutters. Instead, as I suggest in the article might be a kinder alternative, he actually taped it to the wall temporarily, took a photo and then removed the poster. If you look very closely at the edges of poster in the above photograph, you can see the tape. I am keeping this post up because the concern that street artists often do not respect graffiti is still generally valid, even if it is not valid in this example.

Sometimes I wonder why so many graffiti writers have such a negative view of street art. And then I see pieces like this by Jeice2 and remember at least one of their reasons: The lack of respect that young street artists often have for graffiti. This poster by Jeice2 is not bad. Clearly he’s spent some time on it. Okay, it’s not amazing or particularly unique, but it will probably look pretty cool in person while it is fresh.

There are two problems though:

  1. It’s a wheatpaste on a shutter. If that shutter opens regularly, the paper may rip and and look a lot worse very quickly while still taking up lots of space on the spot.
  2. Jeice2 seems to have gone over as many tags (and possibly throw-ups) as he possibly could.

What Jeice2 seems to have done is put up a piece over a bunch of other work without any consideration for those writers, and it’s a piece that will quickly look terrible. Since the primary audience for the pristine piece seems to be the internet, maybe Jeice2 should have just taped his poster to the shutter, taken a photo and then removed it, leaving the graffiti undamaged and visible.

It’s difficult to do a piece that large that isn’t going to cover at least one tag, but surely there was at least one more appropriate spot in all of Seville for this poster.

It’s mistakes like this one by Jeice2 that give street artists a bad name among graffiti writers.

I hope that next time Jeice2 will pick a more respectful spot for his work.

PS, Some people may wonder why I am pointing this out while I have (mostly) defending Banksy’s initial piece in the Banksy versus Robbo feud. The difference that I see between Jeice2 and Banksy versus Robbo is that Banksy actually brought way more attention to Robbo’s piece, Banksy’s piece interacted with the graffiti already on site and Robbo’s piece was tagged over a lot already. But I imagine a lot of people don’t see that same distinction. That’s fair enough and only furthers my point that graffiti writers see street artists as often being disrespectful to graffiti.

Photo by Jeice2