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Monday, August 13, 2012


Yes, Graffiti
On Lake Tahoe Boulders

Again this summer, the rocks off the Crystal Bay Point at Lake Tahoe have been tagged.  Graffiti is writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, sprayed, or painted illicitly on a surface in a public place.  Tahoe is definitely a public place and painting on the magnificent boulders is definitely illegal.  This is defacement and vandalism which is a punishable crime.

Graffiti can be a gang marking, it can make a social or political statement.  It has also evolved into an art form whose value is highly contested, reviled by some while also subject to protection by others.

This particular graffiti may be interesting,  a simple image of Salvador Dali, peeking out from between two huge boulders.  It is still defacement.  I don't see this as a gang marking, a social or a political statement, so it is difficult to understand why the artist chose to place their work in this spot.  Is this a case of individual hedonism, someone who must have their creation out in front of everyone, yet has the inability to work to find an appropriate venue?  

As a work of art this is clever, however painting this image on these boulders is defacement to the natural beauty of Lake Tahoe.  Did the artist truly think they could out do Mother Nature and make the area a better place with the addition of their work?   Did the artist believe it necessary to change the serene, majestic, natural environment?  Now when passing by this particular group of rocks, instead of enjoying the boulders, the location, and the peace of the place, the focus is on this image.

I was out on the lake in my rowing shell to revisit the boulders that are currently inspiring the painting that is on my easel.  I was shocked and horrified to see this graffiti.  

Lake Tahoe is one of the natural wonders of the world, an inspirational, peaceful, and I say it again, majestic place.  Tahoe is a geological wonder.  Lake Tahoe does not need this type of vandalism.

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