Euro-Vandals & Tagged Up Subway Cars

It has come to my attention that Europeans from Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway, come to NYC to vandalize, or well, tag up/ create a “piece”, on subway cars for street cred back home.

According to Gothamist, a few years ago, a Daily News report found that 70% of elaborate subway car graffiti is created by Europeans. And at the end of 2011, a 25-year-old French graffiti artist named Maxime Bezat was charged for tagging subway cars and stations in both NYC and Boston. 

Can you help me understand why on Earth some vandal would take an 8+ hour flight with the sole intention of vandalizing an NYC subway car? Don’t get me wrong, I think graffiti is awesome, especially in unexpected places, but what’s so cool about tagging up a subway that won’t even leave the rail yard if it’s seen vandalized? Or if it does, only makes it one stop?

“Painting to take a photograph, for us who live here, is kind of the wussy way out. The point is to have it run [on the tracks and be seen].” – Lady Pink  for The Daily News – painted subway trains from 1979 to1985.

The big news here is that this morning, a 4 train leaving from Woodlawn in the Bronx was covered in graffiti. The MTA and NYPD were “pissed” about it, naturally, and sent the train back to the yards for cleaning.

Aug. 1, 2013 – 4 Train – Woodlawn, Bronx

It goes without saying that this is vandalism, but as a form of art, in an expected place, it is really cool and out of the ordinary for an every day commuter.

Here’s an idea: the MTA should try to make money out of it like they do with skinning the shuttle from GCT to Times Square – exhibit A and B. They should allow some trains to be tagged as a form of art and quintessential NYC; it’s only takes about 8 hours to clean… I’ll help! On the other hand, I guess that changes things for “vandals” as there’s no appeal to “vandalize” when the excitement and thrill for graffiti artists/vandals is that it’s illegal.

They’re so awesome though and I kind of wish I could ride in one every day.

Jan. 10, 2013 – B Train – West 4th Street
Dec 11, 2006 – 5 Train – apparently this was a VIM(OA) tag – “Vandals In Motion and Monsters Of Art” from the Copenhagen, Sweden, Holland area.

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