I can't make sense of two recent acts of deliberate destruction of street art- last night's destruction of Banksy Valentine's Day work in Bristol, UK
and last week's attack Hosier Lane in Melbourne.
The impulse to destroy art makes no sense to me. In both cases we are looking at vibrant art gifted to public spaces- artists donating their considerable talents to the greater civic beauty. Nobody was charged anything: nobody was compelled to anything: no offense was offered: no politics inferred. But still the impulse apparently exists in some to claw at the beauty of work, to erase the hours of loving craft and leave something broken where civic color and civil reaffirmation were gifted by the kind and the creative.
What's the payoff? What impulse is satisfied? What individual purpose is gained for all that civil expense?
I suppose I see some variation of that impulse in the DART forums. There are those participants who are entirely disinterested in creation or original opinion but tirelessly add a splotch of cynicism or dismissal or derision like a tag in the alley- just marking out territory absent interest or even intent. The advantage that DART has over Hosier Lane is that the hobgoblins are identified and their comments easily bypassed.
Most art belongs to its moment and seldom replicates the original impact. I suppose the vandalism too reflects its the time and place but the loss of the thing is hard to replace and the aftermath in ruin hardens all our hearts.