Vice mag has interviewed Darren Cullen from the Graffiti Kings about his recent arrest for criminal damage – an operation to clean the city off Graffiti (even legal one) during the Olympics.
Our Olympic dreams for London have already been soured by the roof-mounted rockets, VIP traffic lanes, and wandering gangs of “brand police.” But it got even worse yesterday when the British Transport Police raided a number of homes and made a bunch of arrests, seemingly as part of a pre-emptive operation to crack down on graffiti in the capital during the 2012 Olympic Games.
One of the people arrested was Darren Cullen. Darren, who is also known by his graffiti tag “Ser,” has been involved in the graffiti and street art scene in the UK since 1983. But in truth, he’s kinda legit—over the past 20 years, he’s worked with local councils, companies like Microsoft, Red Bull and Adidas, disadvantaged kids, and, hilariously, Team fucking GB itself. He’s also turned spraying paint on stuff into his own company, called Graffiti Kings.
I spoke to Darren about his arrest, and why he thinks the British Transport Police went after him.
VICE: Hi Darren. So, you were arrested yesterday? Read the rest of this entry
As LA’s MOCA tries to give graffiti and street art their moment in the Southern California sun, in New York LA II, aka Angel Ortiz, and in Los Angeles, Revok, aka Jason Williams, are in jail for doing the art they love.
While LA II, who is best known as a collaborator of Keith Haring, has quietly languished at Riker’s Island prison, Revok’s arrest and subsequent sentencing has been accompanied by a vocal outcry from his comrades and fans, including Shepard Fairey, who issued a poster last week to raise money for his legal defense fund.
The debate about graffiti and street art and its role in a democratic and free society is sure to rage on as the artists associated with the art form continue to make waves by openly challenging vandalism laws. The whole phenomenon is strangely reminiscent of the emergence of hip hop in the 1980s and 90s, when artists (and their handlers) often parlayed criminal charges into more publicity and fame for the artist.
The largest question is do artists have — or should they have — a right to create art on public property or the property of others.
The Twitterverse has been very vocal about its anger regarding Revok’s arrest.
Read the rest of this entry
The graffiti writer known as Revok, whose work is displayed in the “Art in the Streets” exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, was sentenced Monday to 180 days in jail after a judge found that he had violated the terms of his probation in a previous vandalism conviction, court officials said.
Jason Williams, 34, also known as Revok, appeared in a Van Nuys courtroom Monday where he was found to have violated his probation on a misdemeanor vandalism charge by failing to pay adequate restitution to his victims, according to prosecutors.
Williams was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport last Thursday as he prepared to board a plane for Ireland.
His arrest came amid controversy surrounding the museum’s “Art in the Streets” graffiti and street art exhibition, which the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have criticized as promoting vandalism and tagging.
Wow, REVOK is a “graffiti writer” now! Apparently the L.A. Times listened to the flood of criticism about them using the word “tagger” in their last article about Revok’s arrest.
Graffiti artists MECA announced on Twitter that there’ll be a benefit art show with the proceeds going to Revok:
Artists who want to contribute can contact MECA via Twitter.
Want to thank all of the people who have supported our brother REVOK in these hard times. Please continue to support by blogging, twittering, etc. Don’t let our rights be stolen away from us! TREND #FREEREVOK
Time to interrupt the holiday program:
(Press Release) High profile graffiti vandal arrested as he preps to board plane
A 34-year old high profile graffiti vandal was arrested by sheriff’s deputies Thursday morning as he prepared to board a plane to Ireland at Los Angeles International Airport..
Suspect Jason Williams, also known as “Revok,” is well known in the graffiti vandalism culture and is a member of the graffiti crew “Mad Society Kings” or MSK.
Sheriff’s Metro Transit Services Bureau Special Problems Unit deputies were notified that Suspect Williams had a warrant for his arrest for failure to pay restitution to the victims of previous vandalism crimes.
Suspect Williams, a White male resident of the Fairfax District in Los Angeles, had been placed on probation for felony vandalism in Indio, California in 2009.
In 2010, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Problems Unit Transit deputies arrested Suspect Williams near a graffiti store where images of his graffiti vandalism were featured. He was arrested with several hundred cans of spray paint and a replica Los Angeles Police Department badge.
As a result of evidence discovered during his April 21 arrest (Thursday), other incidents of vandalism were found in the County of Los Angeles. Some of the damage is adjacent to the Metro Blue Line and can be seen by its’ patrons. The additional crimes will be submitted to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office by sheriff’s deputies for filing consideration.
Suspect Williams is being held in the Los Angeles County jail with bail set at $320,000.00.
“We take graffiti vandalism very seriously, said Lieutenant Vince Carter, Sheriff’s Metro Transit Services Bureau. “Criminal graffiti vandals who insist on damaging other people’s property are going to jail and need to pay to fix the damage they caused.”
For photos, descriptions and information about the arrests of graffiti vandals, wanted graffiti vandals, and graffiti removal, visit the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department webpage on http://www.lasd.org at:
L.A.’s Most Wanted Graffiti Taggers
Captain Mike Parker
Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau – Newsroom
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
$320,000???? If you’re having a WTF-moment right now, it’s with good cause. Logan Hicks has collected information about some other cases from the last 2 months and look at the bail amounts: Read the rest of this entry