The 7 Most Badass Acts of Vandalism Ever Photographed
NOTE: Everything in this article is against the law. If you do it, you will go to jail or something.
Most of us think of graffiti as an urban art relegated to back alleys, rap album covers and all of New York City in the 1980s. But sometimes an artist comes along who proves that with enough creativity, vandalism can transcend typical scribbles and dick pictures on the wall. OK, maybe we spoke too soon about the dick pictures, considering ...
The Penis Bridge
As any novice vandal can tell you, the key to a good public penis drawing is execution, and nobody has executed a better one than the Russian art group Voina. When Russia hosted an international economic forum, Voina decided it was the perfect time to get their classy protest on. And just so you know who we're talking about, these guys once staged an orgy in protest of their presidential election, so you know they've got their heads in the right place.
In 2010, the group decided to paint a massive dick on a drawbridge in the middle of St. Petersburg, coordinating the operation so that they could sprint out, paint it and get back before security grabbed them. The result:
We would give anything in the world to find out that they didn't know that was back there during this shot.
So picture this: You've got to cross the Neva River, but you don't make it to the Liteiny Bridge on time. As the drawbridge rises to the sky, so does an erect phallus that's painted on it. Plain as the nose on your face and the junk in your shorts, thanks to the lamps lighting up the street-dong for the whole world to see. We're not usually into graffiti this crude, but a 224-foot-long wiener rising toward the heavens is about as good as it gets. And thanks to river traffic, the penis was stuck there all night, until the bridge was lowered at 5 a.m. And even after that, it took a few days to get the paint off.
So what was all the dick-painting about? Voina was mad at the Federal Security Service, otherwise known as the post-KGB KGB. They even released a statement: "We have painted a giant phallus to show what the FSB and Interior Ministry are doing in terms of security for the forum." Soooo, symbolism isn't their strong point. Fair enough. By the way, here's them actually doing it:
The Barcaccia Fountain Ball Pit
Have you ever wondered what it would look like if you unleashed 500,000 colorful balls on an unsuspecting city? Of course not, you're neither a Batman villain nor a 4-year-old. And you're certainly not professional prankster Graziano Cecchini, who not only makes a living pulling stunts a frat boy would shit his pants over, but raises the money to do them on such a scale that we can't even talk about his work with starving African children. The awkwardness would be sky-high.
So when Cecchini decided to turn one of the most historic fountains in Rome into an enormous Chuck E. Cheese style ball pit, he went big. The video below shows the release of the balls down the steps as unsuspecting Italians narrowly avoid clownish pratfalls. If you watch closely, you'll see a middle-aged man gleefully dancing a jig at the top of the steps. That's either Cecchini or somebody with a medical condition we shouldn't be making fun of.
By the time the balls rolled down the world-famous 138 Spanish Steps and into the slope that led to the Barcaccia fountain, the historic 385-year-old monument looked like God's toilet bowl after heaven's free strawberry daiquiri night.
It was a perfectly executed $30,000 prank that, according to Cecchini, somehow symbolized nothing more than "problems we have in Italy." What kinds of problems? Not-enough-balls problems, maybe? The vicious anti-play pit legislation up for debate in the Italian senate? An abundance of red testicles? Call us crazy, but we think this guy was more into whimsical mayhem than political statements. Coming from the same man who once dyed the water in the historic Trevi fountain red to protest money spent on a local film festival (See? the red represents the red carpet! Art!), we're not thinking this king of clowns had much more in mind than just a good time. That's what you get when you don't invite the artsy kids to your Chuck E. Cheese parties.
"Make sure the clean up crew doesn't get here too quickly, I promised my kids I'd take them by after school."
Not every art school grad is frittering away his life at Starbucks and waiting tables, contrary to what probably springs to mind when you hear "art school grad." One group of London artists, set designers, sculptors and art directors pooled their collective talents that would otherwise be wasted on the food service industry into one big project: Robots. Specifically, robots made out of reclaimed wood, trash and other junk. When two Roboters traveled to America in 2010, they decided that what Brooklyn really needed was a 9-foot-tall moving griffin perched atop a dilapidated building.
Please tell us that thing breathes fire on unsuspecting pedestrians.
Unfortunately, the picture above isn't the first version of the griffin, because the first version was destroyed by the guy who happened to own the building the dynamic duo put their griffin on. And asking permission to construct a giant wooden contraption atop a roof on a NYC street wasn't in their agenda that day. So when the manager of the building took a glance up and saw what looks to us like the skeletal remains of a harbinger of the apocalypse poised to attack, he had the creators arrested and the structure dismantled. Some people just don't get it.
It didn't take long for someone else to appreciate the beauty of a leering mythical creature made of wood, so a restaurant owner offered his own rooftop for the sculpture. That kind of ruins the point of vandalism, but whatever.
Maybe it's just us, but seeing it in that position, we really want them to make one that vomits.
Street Art, Literally
You know how sometimes filmmakers leave their cameras out for hours to make time lapse videos? And the results look like really cool neon lights over a harbor or street or a baby turtle smoking a cigarette or something? Imagine if you could make that in a few minutes without a camera and without neon lights. All you have to do is slop tons of brightly colored paint on strategic points of a busy intersection and let the cars do the rest.
"Now that you're all culpable, no one can call the cops!"
That's what German art group IEPE did with the help of 2,000 commuters in 2010. The art project, titled "Painting Reality," consisted of members of the group dumping 500 liters of different colored water-based paints at different points in one intersection. When the cars, buses and horses (they still use those in Germany, right?) drove their natural course, they tracked through the paint, drawing out their traffic routes in bright neon colors.
Imagine going to your regular German destinations, the lederhosen store and austerity measure factory and whatnot, only to later find out that you were tricked into participating in a goofy public art project without your consent. What started as a regular drive ended up looking like a giant toddler went nuts with some sidewalk chalk. And we're sure the commuters who now had paint splattered on the bottom of their cars were totally fine with it.
Traffic Barrel Monsters
We've all been there, waiting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, already late to meet the probation officer, looking at the orange and white traffic barrels on the side of the road and wondering if they'd ever repair the damage you did months before in the incident that now requires you to visit a probation officer fortnightly. Most of us take a look at those barrels and think "flattened candy corns." College student Joseph Carnevale looked at them and saw an angry barrel monster hitching a ride. So, he made one and stuck it out by the street:
"Alright, you can hitch. But only if you promise not to devour my family."
The image went viral locally because, you know. Look at it. It's a 10-foot-tall tiny-waist monster with muscleman legs looking for a ride. No one can fit him in their car! He's going to wait forever! Except not really, because the police thought those barrels were a threat to public safety, and Carnevale was charged with vandalism. By then it was too late. He had found his calling. Lady Barrel Monster was next:
Wait, is she a construction worker or a hockey goalie?
The fact that you could drive a minivan between her legs is gravy. She was followed by Barrelosaurus, the dinosaur up top there. And then, this ... thing ...
We'd say it was a Spore monster, but it's not shaped like a cock.
Yeah, so he's slowly going insane.
Turning Soviet Statues into Superheroes
Don't get us wrong. We here at Cracked are as much about superheroes as the next guy, if not more so. But there's a fine line between painting your world in the colors of justice and just being a dick. At least that's what Russian officials thought when an anonymous Bulgarian artist turned a Soviet era war monument from this:
We would watch the hell out of that movie.
Maaaaybe if the artist had just stuck to Superman, the Joker, Wolverine, Captain America and, for the sake of inclusion, Aquaman, everything would have been cool. But no, they had to include Santa Claus, Ronald McDonald holding a beer and Robin Tebowing it out, just to piss people off. And the Soviet flag was repainted to represent the Stars and Stripes, probably because the artist didn't have enough blue paint to make a Confederate flag. And a swastika just would have been silly.
Below the statue was the only clue to its meaning, the phrase "In step with the times." Below that was the throng of tourists who now suddenly wanted their pictures taken with the coolest street art since Banksy vacationed on the West Bank. Upon seeing the desecration, Moscow officials chuckled heartily and wagged their vodka-soaked fingers. Just kidding, they were pissed. So Bulgaria scrubbed the superheroes clean and got them back to being Soviet soldiers. And they wait there to this day, hoping for another moment when they can go from Cold War relics to a plucky, ragtag group of mythical beings liberating who knows what.
We're pretty sure they drank black ink and wrote that in urine.
Carrying picket signs and getting Tased aren't the coziest forms of protest out there. Some people would rather just stay home with their needles and knit away society's problems. Sound crazy? You better believe it. They call themselves yarn bombers, possibly to add some badassery to the art of needling wool into afghans and baby booties. Some of the bombers have just run out of people to give their crappy scarves to, so they turned to wrapping their work around street signs and parking meters.
Others, like a woman who calls herself Olek, are full-on textile artists who get big time shows in artsy places. But that didn't stop her from giving the Wall Street bull the nice big pink and purple full body sweater you see above. Or this:
That person died four minutes later.
Technically, yarn bombing is considered as much an act of vandalism as spray painting a wall or peeing in public spaces, but come on. It's hard to arrest someone for crocheting stuff when a pair of kid-sized safety scissors can undo all the damage for you. Plus, the guys in charge would be arresting their own girlfriends, wives, mothers and daughters, which is only fun if you hate them to death. Finally, look at this:
Like anyone is going to get arrested for that, ever.
It is physically impossible to be angry while looking at this. We've done tests.
For more acts of badassery, check out 8 Awesome Cases of Internet Vigilantism and 9 Acts of Vigilantism Straight Out of a Comic Book.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The Truth About Ambition.
And stop by LinkSTORM to discover which columnist is actually Banksy.
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