We’ve been following this situations with ASKEW‘s recent run-in with unwarranted and currently untraced buffing of one of his go-to walls in Auckland. From Askew’s initial posting about the situation:
Last Monday Component from Cut Collective turned up at my studio to tell me about the contractors painting out a mural site I have painted and maintained since 2001. I left my studio immediately and drove up to the wall to speak with the contractors, just to grasp how this had come to be. They were nice polite guys, both a little shocked that they were ordered to remove this mural and had actually thought it must be a mistake. I was told that it was due to a complaint from the owner as apparently the wall was illegally done. They said Tony Capton had made the call and it had maybe come from higher up. I was shocked to hear this, I new it was likely a mistake as although I wasn’t certain at the time whether the tenant I got permission from was the landlord or not – I was curious to investigate and find out conclusively. (source: Super City Censorship)
Basically, ASKEW of the Ironlak crew has been blasting this wall for the past 10 years with the consent and acknowledgement of the wall’s owner. He recently came home to see city workers coming by to buff the wall from orders issued through the Auckland government.
While Mayor Len Brown of Auckland recently tweeted about looking into the situation personally, there’s been considerable media backlash in the wake of the unwarranted and unexplained buffing.
It’s always kind of funny to observe graff from the other side of the world. Even as Does talked about, it seems that though Australia has a more lenient hand and even actively embraces the art form, they kind of share a similar thinking as larger cities in having to “deal” with the situation through a skewed perspective of city beautification and vandalism. The reason we cover graff at Ennui is because we want to elevate it’s placement and style by showing more of that human context, and ultimately translating that awareness into protection so it can sustain as long as it can without getting buffed away with tax dollars.
Good luck Askew, and keep us posted.
Hit up this Fatcap post for more information and some clutch tweets and media over the issue. Really follow this, as it’s beginning to gain traction in the area news.