Monday, July 21, 2014

TMNT graffiti in Northampton

   Generally speaking, I loathe graffiti, in large part due to it being, nearly always, an act of vandalism, showing total disrespect to other people and their property. But almost as bad is the fact that most graffiti is -- to my way of thinking -- stupid, ugly, and lazy.

  Yes, I know that there are a few examples of graffiti which is clever and well-executed, and on certain relatively rare occasions it is done with the permission of the property owners. But for the most part, to my eye, it is sloppy, rushed and without much aesthetic merit -- probably having at least something to do with its typically furtive and illegal nature.

   I have, every so often, given some thought to starting a new blog called "SLUG" (for Stupid, Lazy, Ugly Graffiti), using examples I've found around our area. Even though Northampton is not a large urban town, there are still plenty of people here who think it's just fine to spray paint or use big permanent markers to deface things they don't own. For example, when a new stretch of the bicycle path between Northampton and Easthampton opened up last year, a nice-looking wooden fence was erected along certain parts of it so that homeowners abutting the bike path would have privacy in their back yards.

  Within days, some jackasses had scrawled their ugly "tags" on the pristine wood of this brand-new fence.

   But every so often, I encounter some graffiti which, while I wish it wasn't there, as it doesn't enhance the landscape at all, at least has SOME inherent wit or creativity. It's rare, but it does happen. I ran into an example of this last week while bicycling through the underpass of Jackson Street in Northampton. Here is is:

   Someone had used a feature of the wall of this underpass, where -- for some reason -- a blocky texture had been pressed into a concrete patch, and this physical detail was employed as the teeth in a somewhat grotesque version of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle head. I thought this was kind of unusual, as I rarely see that kind of thought or use of context in typical graffiti. -- PL


  1. Ha! This tickles me no end. It's like my Nana used to say, "Nothing is 100% good or evil."

    No doubt because she came from Nottingham (which abuts the Sherwood Forest), Nana used Robin Hood as example: "Stealing from the rich to give to the poor...was a generous thought, but it was still stealing."

    But yeah, the reverse is also true, as evidenced by this graffiti. Yes, it's an act of vandalism, but hey, it's TMNT!

    1. Melodye, I like your Nana... and your "Robin Hood" reference! -- PL

  2. Mr . Peter I have a really cool idea for TMNT could you email me at if your interested it's of a ghost like ancestor of turtles

  3. This reminds me of my first glimpse of the Mirage TMNT, in fact any version not inspired on the Fred Wolf animated series which was a graffiti Leonardo on the wall of a train yard I'd pass as a child. It was strange to me as Leo had a red bandanna, different styled bets and pads and he was in a much more dynamic pose than I was used to seeing on turtles merchedise.

    Little did I know at the time it was a great recreation of the character from tne cover of Leonardo Micro Series #1.