Sign Wars II – Whoops

johnboy 19 April 2007 126

The Chief Minister has derived uncommon satisfaction from his latest media release pertaining to Steve Pratt’s crusade against unpalatable political signage oddly conflated with graffiti.

“The ACT Government will ask the police to investigate whether Opposition MLA Steve Pratt committed a criminal offence when he allegedly destroyed a mural in Woden last weekend.

Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said today he had asked the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services to refer the matter to the police after it emerged that an artwork allegedly destroyed by Mr Pratt in the course of a political stunt was a legal artwork that had been commissioned and funded by a local sporting club and painted by a recognised local artist.


UPDATED: News Limited is on the story and have a picture.

ANOTHER UPDATE: A lot more media outlets are covering this Steve hasn’t had press like this since he was being held by the Serbs.

MORE: Prattles even made it onto TSSH.

FINALLY: Days late and dollars short the Canberra Times has come to the party they do bring the happy news that Steve is offering a cheapo trophy to Disc ACT rather than the $3,000 dollars worth of mural painted by “Dan The Man”. The discers remain un-mollified. Steve as the ultimate arbiter of public taste has ear-makred some more of their work for deletion.

SURELY THERE CAN’T BE MUCH MORE: Deb Foskey has put out a nasty media release asking Steve some unpleasant questions.

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126 Responses to Sign Wars II – Whoops
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Stung Stung 10:35 am 27 Apr 07

so has this absolute c*nt apologised yet??

I meant Pratt, not Bonfire. Although he should probably own up to being totally wrong aswell.

bonfire bonfire 4:31 pm 26 Apr 07

you softheads keep equating illegal graffiti with art.

an argument i have deftly debunked.

back to the solvent fumes for you i think.

Stung Stung 4:12 pm 26 Apr 07

Would you rather look at the advertising images that are shoved in our faces than artworks on the street?

Nemo Nemo 5:22 pm 20 Apr 07

Simbo – you are correct – I dont like public art – I think there are much better ways to spend tax payers money. Al Grasby statue comes to mind.
I definitely have a problem with approving ‘artworks’ that a large section of the community find repulsive.
I have no problem with the artwork being completed and viewed in a building or another private establishment – but I shouldn’t be subjected to it on a daily basis within my suburb.

West_Kambah_4eva West_Kambah_4eva 4:42 pm 20 Apr 07

that what it is.

oh yeah, we all want graffiti blighting our streetscape.

Comment by bonfire — 20 April, 2007 @ 3:55 pm

No, it isn’t. YOU ARE WRONG, for cripe’s sake. Admit you are wrong and the pain ends, for all of us.

Danman Danman 4:23 pm 20 Apr 07

Bonfire is (a) pratt

bonfire bonfire 3:55 pm 20 Apr 07

replace the word ‘mural’ with ‘graffiti’

that what it is.

oh yeah, we all want graffiti blighting our streetscape.

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 3:06 pm 20 Apr 07

You’re not much for letting logic get in the way of a good rant, are you bonfire…

Let’s try that argument again.

The Frisbee golf mob had a legal painting on a wall
Steve Pratt destroyed it
The Frisbee golf mob were not amused, as something they had paid for had been destroyed (or dare I say it…vandalised)

Regardless of your thoughts on the artistic merit or otherwise of the mural, bonfire; Pratt has damaged something that belongs to somebody else. That’s naughty. Naughty as the moronic kids tagging the sides of buildings, and subject to equivalent sanction, IMO. Whether that’s a fine or a slap on the wrist is a matter for the courts (I strongly suspect the latter).

As for your argument about spraypaint art being derivative…guilty as charged. But shouldn’t this apply across art styles? Should you not also take a hammer to the knees of any artist painting in an impressionist style (I mean…it’s so derivative of Paris in the 1860’s)? Should a requirement of all art be originality, lest it be invalidated as monkey scrawling?

I’m happy to accept you have a particular view of what art is (I’ve got a few ideas myself), but you don’t get to decide what other people’s should be. Nor do you get to decide what people do with their own property; or what people paint in public spaces designated as public art spaces.

This being a democracy, you’re free to lobby against the existence of public are spaces. So go mobilise your “silent majority” and go nuts. I’d say you’ll find they just don’t give that much of a rats. Or (dear god!) they prefer a mural to a bare wall.

Now; rebut that without using the word “softhead”.

bonfire bonfire 2:36 pm 20 Apr 07

yeah dont let fact derail your solvent fume soaked la la land arguments.

Stung Stung 1:57 pm 20 Apr 07

bonfire’s arguments all fall down hopelessly with comments like “you can tell them by the silver paint around their mouth” and ” a chimp could do that” etc… Pathetic.

Ozhair Ozhair 1:53 pm 20 Apr 07

See bonfire, this is where you seem to be having a hard time getting into step with a lot of the other people here. You seem to be of the opinion that anything painted with a spray can is graffiti, and therefore couldn’t possibly be art.

I doubt anyone here is in support of mindless tagging, such as that which now adorns a certain bridge now that a nice clear space has been provided.

However, take a look at the pic in the recent “Art as Advertising” thread. The advertising link aside, do you see absolutely no artistic merit in that particular piece?

If it doesn’t measure up to your personal standards of public art, does that mean it has no right to exist? As mentioned earlier, if I was to take a sledgehammer to one of the brickwork sculptures around town, simply because as far as I was concerned it looked like a builder’s dumping site, would that be justified?

And I challenge you to come up with a chimp that could recreate the art that was destroyed by Pratt.

johnboy johnboy 1:51 pm 20 Apr 07

“how anyone would consider spraypaint vandalism to be an art form continues to puzzle me”

It’s quite simple, if it’s been commissioned as public art and is on a public art register then it’s public art.

bonfire bonfire 1:41 pm 20 Apr 07

im not an art critic, but i can recognise competent art.

ive stood in front of blue poles for ten, twenty minutes etc several times trying to pick out patterns and repeated themes etc.

its not the disordered mess it appears to be prima facie.

i dont mind it, but i wouldnt buy anything like it.

even if i had that sort of money.

but i also wouldnt have got upset in 1975 or whenever it was purchased.


how anyone would consider spraypaint vandalism to be an art form continues to puzzle me. all of the wonderful examples the softhead supporters in canberra seem so ra ra about look to be highly derivative of another culture with no resemblance to ours and mostly childlike.

give a chimp the spraycan and see what it comes up with. a comparison between the two would be hard to differentiate.

Ozhair Ozhair 1:15 pm 20 Apr 07

Hey bonfire, while you’re here, I’m still keen to hear what your informed opinion is on the work of Jackson Pollock?

And I’m glad to see that you put ‘cleaning up’ in inverted commas, meaning that even you don’t believe that that’s what he was doing. 🙂

bonfire bonfire 1:04 pm 20 Apr 07

it must be a full moon.

pratt was ‘cleaning up’ vandalism.

while the graffiti supporters and their solvent affected ilk are no doubt flogging themselves raw over this, why dont they look at the bigger picture – pratt has bought the issue of graffiti vandals to the fore.

i saw stanhope joking about bruford on the news last night.

the local alp are happy for vandalism to occur – its part of their campaign to run the city down to match other socialist utopias.

Danman Danman 12:38 pm 20 Apr 07

Make a stencil saying “This vandalism endorsed by Pratt”

Ozhair Ozhair 11:04 am 20 Apr 07

Since Pratty’s still refusing to acknowledge any wrongdoing, I guess that means in his opinion it’s open slather on any public artwork.

Don’t like those brick sculptures featured in another thread? Go ahead, take a sledgehammer to ’em. Pratty says it’s okay.

You’re a staunch republican and find statues of the queen in public places offensive? A 4WD and a tow cable should do the trick. Pratty says it’s okay.

You’re a pacifist who finds statues of war heroes offensive? Blow ’em up. Pratty says it’s okay.

Any billboards around town that you don’t like for ANY reason? Rip ’em down. Pratty says it’s okay.

Yes folks, feel free to take the law into your own hands on anything to do with public exhibition. ‘Cause remember, it it doesn’t meet your standards of “taste”, it’s okay to trash it. Pratty says so.

Stung Stung 9:52 am 20 Apr 07

It’s backfired even more now with the coverage that it has received. It’s a dream for a graffiti writer to get a spot that’s going to be in the news, and somebody has now tagged all over the spot, it’s in today’s Canberra Times.

Good one Pratt, by scrubbing off a legitimate artwork and bringing the media to the party, you have actually created MORE vandalism in the area.

Snahons_scv6_berlina Snahons_scv6_berlina 9:33 am 20 Apr 07

“bonfire, look: graffiti is cool, and you’re a fool. stay in school.”

How about
Pratt is a fool
for not checking with the law school
to see if the picture was cool
Now he’s a tool
standing on his moral stool
who’ll hopefully end up standing in front of a judges rule.

simbo simbo 11:35 pm 19 Apr 07

There’s an apalling misuse of the english language on both sides of the argument here.

If a work is commissioned, it is therefore NOT graffiti – graffiti is, by its english language definition, art not sanctioned by the person who owns the wall on which it is painted.

Yes, it may use spraycans to do it. Still doesn’t make it graffiti. People who like it – please don’t call it “graffiti art” – you’re just giving Bonfire fuel for his stupidity.

Nemo – do you object to every single piece of public art (sculptures, frescos, nice tile arrangements on the floor)? Because otherwise, you’re talking complete bollocks.

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