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Some people are not interested in explanations or excuses regarding graffiti defacements. We here at NYD are fine with simply presenting the scribbles and scrawls of New Yorkers without making much of a case for why they happen and why we like them (although our book New York Dick does feature some ramblings along those lines.) But for the sake of those who are unconvinced that advertising posters deserve what they get, we here present the first in a series of comments making the case for defacements. 

The street-culture-interaction artist known as Banksy, who produces moving and beloved work around the world, also produces excellent explanations of why we should feel free to modify the cooperate world's verbal and visual statements aimed at us. In the book Wall and Piece Banksy describes "Brandalism" and accounts for legitimate graphic responses to it:

Any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It belongs to you. It's yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. Asking for permission is like asking to keep the rock someone just threw at your head.

Though many of the poster defacers in NYC have not heard of Banksy they would probably agree with his comments. Their output is not always as clever as his, but their heart (or dick, or snarky remark) is in the right place, clearly in harmony with his philosophy of wholesome resistance to loathsome marketing.

NYD greatly appreciates the clear and compelling statements Banksy makes, whether stenciled on a wall or not, and we hope that creative confrontation with advertising continues to blanket subway posters. We also hope the defacers of NYC don't get too arty and abandon the graphic language of peckers, broken teeth and zombie eyes (probably no danger here.) Thanks for keepin' it real NYC, and thanks Banksy for keepin' it lucid.