Always ones to accidentally end up looking backwards at the start of a new year, ShadowPlay stumbled across this excellent lecture from Paul 'Moose' Curtis addressing the agIdeas Conference in Melbourne.
Curtis' skill is in, effectively, cleaning. Instead of using paint to mark walls and signs, he uses cleaning products to remove the dirt and grime and create images.
He describes his work as 're-facing' not 'defacing' in an attempt to highlight how polluted the world really is. Amusingly Curtis has worked both and with firstly the police and secondly commercial client. That the latter have cottoned on to his talent is no surprise - guerilla marketing and graffiti have become big business since Banksy hit the mainstream - but the fact the police have harnessed the idea shows a level of intuition and invention for which they are rarely credited. Of course, the police are often confused and down right idiotic in their approach to graffiti art and how serious a crime it really is but in this instance it's pleasing to see some creative thinking.
Curtis' idea is not new naturally, there have been white vans with 'clean me' written on the back since Ronnie Corbett was in (even shorter) trouser. But it's interesting to see the credit given to it and his eloquence on the subject. Can you think of a cheaper, more amusing way to leave your mark on a town? Watch out, Mr Muscle might just be the new spray paint.