Sanitizing Clown Town

Abby Zimet

In a harsh pre-emptive strike against street artists messing up the corporate behemoth and "pristine bubble" of the Olympics, London police have arrested four graffiti artists for committing or thinking about committing "criminal damage." They also set over-the-top bail conditions that ban them from riding the tube, owning spray paint, and taking their subversively creative butts anywhere near the Olympics. Many are not happy. And Banksy, the "prince of street art," and many others are still out there anyway.

"An event that is all about massive finance, colossal scale, hyper-organization and culture delivered from above is being superimposed on a capital that happens to be best at improvisation, dirty realism, punk aesthetics and low art. It's like Versailles versus the sans-culottes."

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