*swiped from DJ SNUFF's BLOG*
Dark along with 8 other members of the DPM Graff crew have all been convicted on charges of criminal damage & also for the first time in the history of Graffiti culture a charge of conspiracy to criminal damage. 3 have been sentenced to 18 months, One member "NEAS" faces 2 years, one faces 15 months and the remaining 4 were given suspended sentences with community service.
This is an attempt by the courts to make an example of these artist to deter artist in the future.. It wont work. Graffiti will not stop, it is a culture with a strong heritage This sentencing will only serve to bring further notoriety to the artist that make up the DPM crew. Our thoughts are with them, we will support them fully through their time inside. This is an injustice, a waste of public sector money & will not serve as a deterrent. It will in fact be counter productive from that in which the court hopes to achieve. This will not deter artist it will only give them new martyrs. So saying this, well done DPM on your success, galleries await, press await, the biography, TV appearances etc.. the system is flawed and we shall exploit it until people see sense.
Our recommended alternative: Use all of this money (or even a fraction of it) already currently being thrown at the BTP (British Transport Police), Buffering (Cleaning paint of trains), Court charges, Legal Fee's and any other cash being wasted on their little cat & mouse game right now and put it into commissioning the worlds leading artist to paint masterpieces for these trains. The standard will be immense. The art can reflect the varying taste of the artist and the city. Artist and the "Privatized" train companies can even profit together via sponsorship deals incorporating the artist work. (We are already staring at advertising all day every day, why not utilize the talents around us?).. Seeing art of such a standard will also have an effect on the developing artist, they will have inspiration, and with inspiration the art form will improve. Graffiti is here to stay, Jailing artist is no solution, Graffiti doesn't even necessarily need to be a problem, there are issue's that need to be addressed but locking up artist and branding them as vandals is no way to address these issues.
The campaign starts now.
We need full press support on this one, we have already secured an exhibition in a leading NYC gallery space, gathered statements of support from South Bank Art Curators (Including Tate Modern & Queen Elizabeth Hall) & various Art publications. We are just beginning. Graffiti is not a crime and Jail Time is not a deterrent.
This is the first case in the history of Graffiti that an entire crew have been trailed on conspiracy charges. On the same day they face trail the Tate Modern are showcasing an international Graffiti exhibition and laws to preserve the work of Banksy have been passed in Bristol city. There are mixed signals in these actions. What is Art? What is Vandalism? and when does Vandalism become accepted as Art?
Those convicted for Conspiracy are:
1 Jack Binnie, 25, from Lewisham
2 Andrew Gillman, 25, from Battersea
3 Ziggy Grudzinskas, 25, from Blackheath
4 Alex McClelland, 24, from Dulwich
5 Matthew Pease, 24, from Lewisham
6 Paul Andrew Stewart, 26, from Lewisham
7 Matthew Tanti, 23, from Streatham
8 James Teasdale, 21, from Dulwich
9 Slav Zinoviev, 25, from Battersea
10 Mark Goss, 22, from Sidcup (Criminal Damage) tag- "RUST/TURES"
Tags used included:
ANDREW GILLMAN "NEAS"
SLAV ZINOVIEV "ZINO"
ZIGGY GRUDZINSKAS "AKRE" / "EDGE"
JACK BINNIE "GOKS" / "GOX"
MATTHEW TANTI "MYSE"
MATTHEW PEASE "PILS"
PAUL STEWART "DARK"
JAMES TEASDALE "AMSR" / "JPEG"
Check here for the British Transport Police view on this:
Even though this sentencing is meant to serve as a deterrent the crew have already secured lasting exhibitions in New York City as a consequence and are continuing to gain public support, including support from with in the art establishment. Sentencing took place Friday July 11th
PS. FAO anyone who were regular at Speakers Corner Brixton. One of the defendants Paul Stewart "DARK" has been a resident DJ with us from the beginnings and is a foundation member of what we do here at Speakers, so this case has extra concern for us. Dark is a creative, and thats what art is, we encourage people to be creative artistically, lyrically and in general. Dark nor no member of DPM pose a threat to the public. Jail is not the answer.
DPM get love in NYC while they rot in jail in the UK - FREE DPM NOW!!
YOU CAN HELP!!
Take a minute to sign the petition. Free DPM.
This WILL help the case for an appeal
Download track below FREE!!
Free Them [DPM]
Ed Strong [The IRS] & cOmplex
A track recorded in dedication to DPM
Lyrics written and performed by Ed Strong from The IRS
Beat produced & arranged by cOmplex
Please pass this track on to any DJ/Radio DJs, Press ect.. We need this
played to help publicize the issue, lets keep this out there..
When you do get the chance sign the petition!!.