Chislehurst Road bridge graffiti - art or vandalism? Editor's Eye comment

News Shopper: One of the bits of graffiti daubed on the recently reopened Chislehurst Road bridge One of the bits of graffiti daubed on the recently reopened Chislehurst Road bridge

GRAFFITI – a foul scourge on society or a modern expressive art form?

We’ve been waiting a year for the Chislehurst Road bridge to reopen, and the ribbon was finally cut last Friday. But, within hours, someone has scrawled graffiti right across the brand new, shiny surface.

So, should we celebrate the wit required to come up with: “Don’t jump, life is so amazing”, or do we call for the immediate re-introduction of birching for anyone caught in the act?

You could argue that at least this comment has a relevance to the site where it has been scrawled. You could even make the case it is upbeat. Mind you, alongside this carefully scripted witticism was a far more mundane, and universal, graffiti offering — a crudely drawn penis.

So, should humour and artistic ability be celebrated, whilst those without talent, who tend to fall back upon obscenity, be roundly punished?

I strongly suspect there’s very little point even pondering the question as the chance of actually catching the nasty little scumbags is negligible.

And, if there is any inconsistency regarding graffiti ‘artists’ we’ve only got ourselves to blame. As soon as anyone labelled this criminal behaviour as an art form we were on the ugly, defaced road to ruin.

Even the authorities approach the problem in wildly different ways. Luckily responsibility for this bridge falls to Bromley Council, which has an avowed aim to remove graffiti within 24 hours of being informed about it. Network Rail’s view appears to be that, unless it’s offensive, they won’t even touch it.

Presumably if this little ‘artist’ wrote: “What a lovely looking bridge” on a new Network Rail structure it would stay for eternity.

What do you think? Is graffiti ever an art form or is it always just vandalism? How should people guilty of graffiti be punished? Who should pay for the removal of graffiti? Add your comments below.

Comments (11)

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2:01pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Jenfleur says...

If you build it, they will come.
If you build it, they will come. Jenfleur
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Mon 19 Nov 12

the wall says...

I don't know why comment was removed?
I don't know why comment was removed? the wall
  • Score: 0

2:51pm Mon 19 Nov 12

the wall says...

the wall wrote:
I don't know why comment was removed?
Oops my mistake it on the other report of the graffiti on the same bridge.
[quote][p][bold]the wall[/bold] wrote: I don't know why comment was removed?[/p][/quote]Oops my mistake it on the other report of the graffiti on the same bridge. the wall
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Have your say says...

Call that art? what a load of poppyCOCK!!!
Call that art? what a load of poppyCOCK!!! Have your say
  • Score: 0

3:44pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Lord Erastus Theobald Piggott says...

Perhaps it's a self-portrait.
Perhaps it's a self-portrait. Lord Erastus Theobald Piggott
  • Score: 0

4:30pm Mon 19 Nov 12

Have your say says...

I think whoever did this is a complete knob
I think whoever did this is a complete knob Have your say
  • Score: 0

7:22pm Mon 19 Nov 12

madras says...

That's a pi55 poor excuse for graffiti

It's also a poor effort having bare concrete when they could have come up with something a little more sympathetic to the eye - even for a bridge

Perhaps the council could sponsor local school / college to design something?
That's a pi55 poor excuse for graffiti It's also a poor effort having bare concrete when they could have come up with something a little more sympathetic to the eye - even for a bridge Perhaps the council could sponsor local school / college to design something? madras
  • Score: 0

11:45am Tue 20 Nov 12

ksc says...

Firstly,graffiti is the young persons way of showing older people that they have the power to not give a s**t, secondly, history is littered with famous, amazingly talented people who could paint, sculpt or draw, and not one of them has, is, or will ever be a graffiti artist, how can you put the male appendage drawn on the bridge in the same bracket as The Hay Wain, Flatford Mill or The Cornfield, Constable was an artist, the kid responsible for the sketch above is an idiot, and thirdly Network Rail spend many millions of tax payers pounds keeping the trains running, and although they do have a small budget for graffiti removal, within hours and sometimes minutes of removing graffiti it's back. Sadly, until the sentence fits the crime graffiti is always going to be a horrible scar on the country...graffiti "artist" my a**e.
Firstly,graffiti is the young persons way of showing older people that they have the power to not give a s**t, secondly, history is littered with famous, amazingly talented people who could paint, sculpt or draw, and not one of them has, is, or will ever be a graffiti artist, how can you put the male appendage drawn on the bridge in the same bracket as The Hay Wain, Flatford Mill or The Cornfield, Constable was an artist, the kid responsible for the sketch above is an idiot, and thirdly Network Rail spend many millions of tax payers pounds keeping the trains running, and although they do have a small budget for graffiti removal, within hours and sometimes minutes of removing graffiti it's back. Sadly, until the sentence fits the crime graffiti is always going to be a horrible scar on the country...graffiti "artist" my a**e. ksc
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Tue 20 Nov 12

PaulErith says...

In my opinion, it can never be art when some idiots decides to write or paint something in a public place. Banksy is a criminal graffiti artist just like whoever did this on the bridge. Just because Banksy is good doesn't make him any less of a criminal.
In my opinion, it can never be art when some idiots decides to write or paint something in a public place. Banksy is a criminal graffiti artist just like whoever did this on the bridge. Just because Banksy is good doesn't make him any less of a criminal. PaulErith
  • Score: 0

8:16pm Tue 20 Nov 12

2bobsworth says...

who cares???
if it was graffiti on the bridge up the top of star lane,noone would be botherd!!!!
its only because its up in petts wood that its made the newsshopper!!!
who cares??? if it was graffiti on the bridge up the top of star lane,noone would be botherd!!!! its only because its up in petts wood that its made the newsshopper!!! 2bobsworth
  • Score: 0

11:14am Wed 21 Nov 12

Polly Staight says...

I think the real problem with graffiti is that it is always performed on other people's property.

If the "scumbags" of which the NS speaks, whether they be a kid from the local school or the one known as "Banksy", did whatever it is they do on their own property, they could call it "Mary" if it pleased them...

...When it is on public property, it is vandalism.
I think the real problem with graffiti is that it is always performed on other people's property. If the "scumbags" of which the NS speaks, whether they be a kid from the local school or the one known as "Banksy", did whatever it is they do on their own property, they could call it "Mary" if it pleased them... ...When it is on public property, it is vandalism. Polly Staight
  • Score: 0

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