Sunday, August 28, 2011

Senior Citizens Gone Wild

Posted By on Sun, Aug 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM

You know what they say...teach old people how to create graffiti, give them spray cans and chaos ensues:

Formal courses and workshops on senior graffiti are careful to keep their work legal, either spraying on large canvas or securing the rights to public spaces, like the walls of culture centers. But not all of Germany's seniors spray inside the legal lines.

At age 61, Walter F. — better known by his artistic name OZ — is renowned in Germany for the smiley faces and other signature doodles he sprays around Hamburg; some 12,000 of his works can be spotted in the city. But his indiscriminate spraying often lands him in hot water: This July, he was sentenced to 14 months in jail on 11 counts of property damage. The German press, which has followed OZ for over a decade, now affectionately refers to him as Hamburg's "Graffiti Oldie."

Unlike OZ, who has been spraying for years, most of the students participating in courses like those offered by Jutta Hinz's Mosaik Kreis or Stephanie Hanna's Senior Street Art are newcomers to the graffiti game. But some have followed in the footsteps of pros like OZ, taking what they learned in the classroom and transferring it to less-than-legal public spaces.

Hanna revealed that she sometimes sees graffiti that she taught in one of her past workshops while walking through the streets of Berlin. She told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung that apparently one or another of her students had taken to surreptitiously bringing what he or she learned in class to the city streets.

[HT: The Awl]

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