NYC's War on Vandalism Must End If We Are to Have Good Vandalism

War on art! A famous Japanese pop artist was doing just a little bit of vandalism down in the subways, and was arrested. Why doesn't Mayor Bloomberg just let people draw in the streets?

Yoshitomo Nara was in town for his gallery opening in Chelsea last month, and got a little drunk and went on down in the L train and drew a smiley face on the wall and was promptly handcuffed by the fuzz! Here is why New York City's War on Art will simply never be a success:

1. Your arrests just give the artists mad props where they live, in the streets!

Staff at the gallery declined comment yesterday, but a Japanese television crew doing a piece on Nara said the arrest would only give the artist more street cred at home.

"He's going to get big notoriety for this here and in Japan," a crew member said.

2. Your arrests just give the artists mad props in the other place they live, the media! Look at Poster Boy, for fuck's sake. And if Yoshitomo Nara had never been arrested, we never would have had the chance to bring you his delightful work.

NYC's War on Vandalism Must End If We Are to Have Good Vandalism

3. NYC could be making some money off this!

The offending piece of graffiti has been erased, but given the value of Nara's other works, it likely would have been valuable, Oksenhendler said.

"It probably would have been worth ten grand if you or I got our hands on that brick," he said.

Don't be like that store owner who whitewashed the Banksy, Mayor Bloomberg. The value of that one little Yoshitomo Nara scrawl could have paid for a full day's cleaning of the hipster stench of the Bedford Ave. L train station. Do the right thing: legalize crime. [NYP]