13 July 2008

Graffiti train

I once watched a programme on tv about graffiti in London and was surprised at the number of people not necessarily in favour of this this latent form of vandalism, but either passing no real opinion about it or being mildly attracted to the 'works of art' that are daubed over the city. Graffiti takes two broad forms - 'tags' that people place all over the place, generally a small emblem or modified initials that are left by the purportator; and mural-type expanses where at least some form of skill has been used to create an image of sorts.
Such is the expanse of graffiti on the UK's transport network - specifically the railways - that the Victoria & Albert Museum's online shop was selling a model of a 'graffiti train' that the owner can then additionally daub him/herself. The product was promoted thusly:

"Indulge the secret vandal in you with this wonderful solid vinyl scale train and everything you need to get creative with graffiti galore. If dicing with death and risking imminent arrest aren't high on your preferred risk of pastimes, then here's a way to indulge your rebellious streak from the comfort of your own home or office. A solid vinyl scale train, ready and waiting as the perfect white canvas for all your creative embellishments. The train comes with loads of graffiti and tags for you to use as you wish. So get creative and vandalise away to your heart's content!"

The product, which was available for purchase 3 days ago, has since disappeared - possibly sold out! The same product is available elsewhere online though again sold out here in the UK but stock from the USA is available. Visiting the Firebox site you can see, if nothing else, the difference in sales techniques by contrast to that employed by the Victoria & Albert Museum. I especially like the term "Graffiti with no fears of getting an ASBO".