10 January 2006

The Return of The Gray Ghost

I've noticed over the past month there has been a graffiti explosion throughout New Orleans, but especially along I-10. (I would put pictures of it up here on the blog, but I guess I am not supposed to do that to not encourage and give attention to it.) Sound abatement walls, base of bridges, pylons of bridges, and highway signs along I-10 are being "tagged" bigtime. Hundreds and hundreds of abandoned vehicles parked under several sections of I-10 before the storm (such as the I-10/I-610 split or under the Claiborne portion of I-10) remain and some of those are completely covered with graffiti. I heard Fred "The Gray Ghost" Radtke (head of Operation Clean Sweep) on WWL Radio this morning announcing he's back despite being displaced from the flood to fight New Orleans' graffiti. His nickname, "The Gray Ghost, " is because he and his group covers the graffiti--regardless of where it is, including official street signage--with rolled gray paint. Over the past several years, his battle has been endless as he covers the graffiti up and then days or weeks later it returns. The Graffiti Wars of New Orleans are about to begin once again . . .

8 Comments:

At January 10, 2006 12:16 PM, Blogger John Blutarsky said...

It seems to me that the Army troops that are in town could be used to make anti-graffiti patrols instead of patrolling occupied neighborhoods uptown. Maybe their night vision would come in handy to find some of these punks.

Sting operations could be coordinated with "The Gray Ghost". After his group covers up graffiti, there could be a couple of Army troops staking out the spot for a few nights. The punks always show back up at some point to spray over the grey paint. It's an endless cycle.

 
At January 22, 2007 1:55 AM, Blogger Sean said...

Its so important that taggers get caught. Huge splotches of grey look so much better than a stop sign.

 
At January 31, 2008 8:57 PM, Blogger Juan said...

Fred is worse then the graffiti artist. If the wall is 7ft by 7ft and the graffiti takes up 5ft by 5ft of the surface, paint the whole fucking wall asshole. Your gray stains make this city look like shit. The city needs to paint all city walls with murals. I guarantee the graf kids won’t disrespect good art. -N.O.JOHN

 
At August 27, 2008 7:56 PM, Anonymous Brackac said...

First off, how is the random patches of gray paint any different than the graffiti it is covering? You are no better than the graffit "artist" themselves. You must have a great view on top of that high horse you ride.

Now, as for the comment of using Army troops as anti-graffiti patrols, are you serious? Do you think the Army soldier has that much free time as to walk the streets of New Orleans looking for kids with spray paint cans? What if they came upon the Gray Ghost practicing his form of graffiti? Should they look the other way as he defaces public property?

You people need to find a different cause to stand behind.

 
At August 27, 2008 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yea shitbag... who the F*ck do you think you are.. your the fcking hipoctit. putting grey splothes over art. No respect for prople and their righs. stupid, why dont you go bust up crack houses instead of graffiti artist

 
At November 16, 2008 3:20 PM, Blogger Cookie said...

It IS true that the gray ghost covers up wonderfully relevant artistic masterpieces and colorful murals; however, I live (lit.) 1 1/2 blocks from the very center of the Vieux Carré, and I have been looking at the same meaningless tag on the abandoned building across the street for months. The gray ghost doesn't seem to care too much about tagging historic buildings with your name. It's only inappropriate to create artworks on dilapidated/abandoned buildings and decrepit interstates which were once lined with grand oak trees on prosperous thoroughfares.

Know the city before you judge the artists who care for it.

 
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