Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Graffiti: Art or Vandalism?
A street artist's arrest has people questioning if his work is truly defacing property or an artist's vision that needs to be displayed regardless of the law.
It took them months, but earlier this week police finally caught up with a graffiti artist who’d been leaving his mark in Anchorage for more than two years.
The arrest of the young man who calls himself “Meno” has people talking about what is “public art” and where it belongs.
KTVA CBS 11’s Lauren Maxwell showed some of Meno’s more striking images to several Anchorage residents who all agreed the young man was talented, but that defacing public property wasn’t a good idea, not to mention against the law.
In fact, police are still adding up the cost of removing Meno’s artwork from public buildings, but are convinced it will be in the tens of thousands of dollars. That doesn’t account for the mark he left on private property.
Denise Bodge knows all about that. Last September, she came to work at the East Anchorage storage facility she manages and found a 200-foot wall covered with Meno’s art work. It cost her company $4,000 to get it off. She’s hoping his recent arrest may help him learn a lesson.
“Hoping that Meno maybe gets a chance to do some community service work,” says Bodge. “Maybe showing other kids it’s ok to be an artist but there are right and wrong places to put art.”
Police say residents who see such “art” in the wrong place shouldn’t hesitate to call the Graffiti Buster’s Hotline at 343-GONE to have it removed.