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This link is to a postgazette article about Danny Montano, a graffiti artist/vandal that has tagged a ridiculous number of homes and businesses on the east end over the last several years. I actually knew him years ago when he attended the high school where I taught. For several years, though, his tagging all over Bloomfield infuriated me long before I knew it was him committing the crimes. I think most of it has been cleaned off by now, but his narcissistic spray-painting vandalized much of Bloomfield, Lawrenceville, East Liberty, and other up-and-coming neighborhoods.

I'm kind of pissed off at this whole case and the attention that he has been getting over this, esp with his latest exhibit at the Mattress Factory. He has always been an excellent artist, but I'm annoyed at the debate over whether tagging MFONE all over the place constitutes art. Then we get a few pretensious Danny Montano quotes about his art and nature fighting back at man and the world changing so fast, blah, blah, blah. What the hell?!... you're tagging old people's rowhouses in Bloomfield and neighborhood businesses - don't make it out to be more than it is.

I actually like graffiti along the jail-trail and busways and train-tracks, and often take photos of graffiti that's either very interesting or makes an interesting statement when riding my bike around town.... but I'd certainly never think it was the least bit artistic to randomly tag hundreds of homes and businesses. I'm a pretty liberal kind of guy, and I realize that he wasn't actually harming anybody, but have a little bit of respect for historic city neighborhoods. I've found myself rooting for the judge to come down really hard on this guy.

I've been told that I'm unnecessarily worked up over this...any thoughts on this one?

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I completely agree with everything you said.

And I also think some graffiti is nice and can be considered art. But vandalism is vandalism, plain and simple. Someone could paint a great masterpiece on the side of a house, but it would still be vandalism if they didn't have permission.

What's worse, I'm pretty sure property owners are responsible for getting graffiti cleaned up. There is nothing good in screwing people over, especially elderly people. There are other ways to make a statement.

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