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Jan 16

Banksy, Borf & Breed, Oh My

Comments (1) 10:00 PM posted by admin |

Over at the Prospect Park Neighborhood Association’s website, Kurt, a fellow third Ward resident and important voter, offers his take on the showdown brewing between Ypsilanti resident and business owner Hedger Breed and the Historic District Commission over stencil graffiti on his building.

It turns out that despite being a violation of our zoning ordinance (Sec 42-46 through 42-55), Mr. Breed wants the graffiti to stay. And because his building sits within the confines of the Historic District, he’s going to ask their permission to allow it remain on the building. Mr. Breed says the stencil art reminds him of the world-famous, British artist, Banksy.

I think that’s a bit of a stretch. I think that Ypsilanti’s renegade artist is more derivative of Borf than Banksy, but that’s up to the critics to sort out.

I have a bit of sympathy for all of this because I, too, was a stencil artist. Back in the late eighties I once took the cardboard box that contained a large refrigerator and cut out a giant three foot by five foot Bat-signal. It took me about seven hours to cut it out with an exacto knife. It also took six cans of spray paint to actually finish one. I think I quit after getting about three-quarters of the way through putting one on my next door neighbor’s garage door before I got bored. (Here’s a vintage snapshot of me repainting said garage.)

I had considered going to February’s HDC meeting and speaking on behalf Mr. Breed. There is a bit of stencil art on the sidewalk near Cady’s in Depot Town. It’s been there for what seems like forever, and no one is losing sleep over it. The problem is, Kate warned me that I can only have so many philanthropic pursuits before she leaves me.

I would, however, encourage everyone to stop by the Ypsilanti HDC meeting on February the 12th at 7PM in Council chambers and let their voice be heard on the matter. I’m sure it’s going to be a riot. I just hope someone video tapes it for the archives.

1 Comment »

  1. Comment by Joe
    January 19, 2008 @ 12:21 pm


    I couldn’t access the “vintage” photo as it came up as private…

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