"The Buff": the act of removing graffiti by painting over, symbolizing the contradictory nature of graffiti as both art and vandalism.
The City of Los Angeles spends $7 million a year to buy paint and staff and materials to support "the buff".
"The buff" removes over 30 million square feet of Los Angeles graffiti a year.
How much did Graffiti Artists in LA spend on the work before "the buff"? Somewhere between $2million and $8million (cans range from $1.00 to $10.00 and pieces can use from 5 to 30 cans per piece).
Are municipal efforts to erase graffiti
giving birth to a new movement in modern art stemming from the repressed artistic desires of city workers? Director Mark McCormick produced an award winning experimental documentary called The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal.
Artist: Mark Rothko
The theme of the video, according to blogger and illustrator Ward Jenkins, “makes the observation that the process of destroying one art form unwittingly creates another”. The video compares the result of "the Buff" to the work of famous contemporary artist "Mark Rothko" (right).
Blogger and Illustrator Ward Jenkins is also rumored to be a Graffiti artist himself.