G R A F F I T I - T O U R - 1 9 9 4

TEAKO~170 and KI-ONE

TEAKO with writing partner KI~ONE having some fun for the camera. This is "The Monument" as it was nick-named. Location: Bronx Park @ 219th Street .... or, in retrospect, my front yard.

I discovered two things in returning to my past. One, my philosophy of "you can't go back -- only forward" was reconfirmed. The second was, that there's good, bad, and ugly in all things. You've seen images here by some talented individuals. Some have even converted their artform into a paycheck; that's the good. The bad/ugly? Take a look at the above picture again. See the name "crack" spray painted on the monument? A simple tag, nothing more or less, right? Not exactly.

When I was younger, a legion of WW II vets would come to the monument each Memorial Day to honor those from the neighborhood who had been slain in the war. There would be a large ceremony with men in uniforms, a band, etc. which drew many a spectator. I even believed, for the longest time, those being honored were actually buried within the monument. Of course that proved to be false, but I still had respect for those whom this "stone" represented.

From 1972-73 until mid-1979, I wrote my name all over the Bronx Park. Across the adjoining neighborhoods. In and out of the trains which cut through the Bronx and beyond. In all those years, I never once defaced that monument. I made sure many of my friends didn't either. There were certain things that were sacred. We didn't write on churches or graves -- and we sure the fu*k didn't write on that monument.

This "crack" individual probably never saw those parades. Probably didn't even know what the statue stood for. When I saw this graffiti written on the monument that day, I did not see "art" but instead "desecration." I had the same eyes that day, that many folks have when they view graffiti. I viewed it with contempt, disgust. It was ... ugly.

While not everyone can have the same set of values, I hope those who continue to write and paint walls have some set of rules they adhere to. Create -- don't destroy.


BIG UPDATE: Hey graffiti fans! Check out THE CRAZY FIVE SCREENPLAY. Coming soon to a theater near you...??

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