Filed under: Art, Graffiti, Politics, Ramblings | Tags: Fine Art, Graffiti, L.A., Los Angeles, M.T.A., Politics, RTH, Smear
From the LA Times (thanks MAC)…
“Graffiti Artist’s Past is Tagging Behind Him
Cristian Gheorghiu scrawled ragged images and his nickname, ‘Smear,’ on L.A.’s lampposts, walls and riverbeds. Now that his gallery career is taking off, an injunction is threatening to bar him from profiting from art bearing his telltale ‘tag.’
In 2007, Gheorghiu’s problems came to a head with his first adult felony arrest. Responding to Smear’s graffiti on buses, L.A. County sheriff’s deputies raided his home. A graffiti vandalism conviction resulted in a 40-month suspended prison sentence, three years’ probation and about $28,000 in restitution for scrawling on buses.
Gheorghiu remains on probation because he has paid off only about $5,000 of his fines.
He says he stopped vandalizing property after his conviction. Today, he insists, his only artwork is created in a studio, with larger pieces fetching $2,000 to $2,500. Art “is my way of making amends,” he said.
But his trouble with the law didn’t end. When his old tagging crew was suspected of creating a quarter-mile-long MTA tag in the Los Angeles River, Gheorghiu was caught in the ensuing police sweep.
He spent three days in jail in 2009. Charges were never filed.
But in 2010, the city attorney sued him and nine others. The suit seeks at least $1 million in penalties and a civil injunction that would forbid many activities, including making money from work emblazoned with their street names.”
Read the whole story here.
photo: LA Times
If you read a little further the real motive against graffiti/ graffiti art reveals itself (again)..
“Their suit also argues that Gheorghiu’s graffiti served as free publicity, giving him an unfair advantage over legitimate artists — a violation of state laws governing fair competition.”
…..Exactly. All about the $$$$s.
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