A friend of mine had a shop in 1990’s. The outside of the building was regularly tagged. These taggers were vandals… their tag was not a signature….they would smash up the shop…then brazenly sign the property they were attacking. This vandalism was not art. There was no message, no quirky cleverness….just vandalism accompanied by a tag. My friend dealt with these attacks by painting over the tags as soon as they were done. Not as easy as it sounds….the solvents in the spray paints would leach through normal paints ….and the tags could still be seen. An effective paint over process involved using a methylated spirits based stain blocker, then two coats of normal paint over the top….and often the wall would be revisited by the vandals before the paint over had dried.
Generally, Melbourne’s true graffiti artists respect a set of unwritten protocols….like not tagging over another artist’s work or tag. This picture gives us a look at the respect the artists have for each other’s work. Their work is not accompanied by vandalism and it often contains a social message. Get in2melbourne and check it out