What does this graffiti mean, if anything?
October 31, 2014 4:45 PM   Subscribe

Three pieces of graffiti popped up in our neighborhood last night, on three different garages. I'm wondering if they have any sort of meaning, or if they are local gibberish.

Here are the three garages in question: 1, 2, 3. I'm guessing FTP is "fuck the police," but what about the frowny face with the one bad eye and the other eye circled ... is that an image that turns up anywhere else? Does any of this look like it's tied to something with larger connections or a larger story?
posted by jbickers to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That just looks like basic kids-making-mischief stuff to me.
posted by greta simone at 5:05 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm hardly part of youth culture or street culture at this juncture in my life, but I am going to say it has no greater meaning. I assume it's either the tagger's sign, or just random doodling. FTP could mean "fuck the police," it could be the tagger's initials, it could be what his crew of friends call themselves. Who knows.
posted by AppleTurnover at 5:36 PM on October 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

[My nerdy self wants to appropriate that for a file transfer protocol error message. Because I saw "FTP" and naturally that's the first thing that came to mind.]
posted by mon-ma-tron at 5:39 PM on October 31, 2014 [7 favorites]

It's not working on my ipad, but in Firefox, I think you can right click an image and then search google with that image, and see if anything pops up, but I'm betting local hooligans being hooli.
posted by dejah420 at 5:42 PM on October 31, 2014

I doubt this is relevant to your graffiti, but where I live in Scotland "FTP" would be understood as "fuck the pope" and would tie in to local undying internecine religious rubbish. Though this stuff can have serious implications still, if it got daubed on a wall near me I would assume it had been done by bored kids. I expect this is also the explanation for your graffiti, i.e. it is pretty much meaningless.
posted by cincinnatus c at 6:00 PM on October 31, 2014

@dejah420: I had a go with Google and TinEye, but no luck.

I must say, these drawings look familiar to me, but that's about it... jbickers, where are you from? (I'm from Belgium)
posted by Captain Fetid at 3:18 AM on November 1, 2014

Hmm, a Google search for FTP Graffiti turns up some pig imagery, sometimes with eyes Xed out (meaning dead?). Here's one.
posted by salvia at 5:22 PM on November 1, 2014

If I had to guess I'd say the scribbles around the left eye are letters, a C a U and then a doubled Z? Maybe.
posted by Nomiconic at 6:39 PM on November 1, 2014

This is about what my younger brother would do when really high and like 14.

Living in Chicago I have to say the quality of the graffiti is terrible.
posted by AlexiaSky at 8:26 PM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

If it were gang graffiti it would be more easily recognized. We get tags around here that are generally pretty straightforward: GD (Gangster Disciples), GDK (G.D. Killers, meaning probably the ...), LK (Latin Kings). (Alas, no real art except on the passing trains.) My take on this face is that it's the tagger's own imagery, not anything more broadly meaningful.

the quality of the graffiti is terrible.

It's my understanding that restrictions on materials have led to this result in many urban areas. But yeah, it could just be laziness.
posted by dhartung at 1:10 PM on November 2, 2014

This is most likely done by kid(s) who are just trying to start doing graffiti and have very little idea about what they are doing. These are known as toys in the graffiti world. They don't know the "rules", they got no style and likely operating from a place of pure "let's go out and fuck shit up".
Short groupings of three letters typically, such as FTP are a crew name and are an acronym for one or many things. "Fuck the police" is a good guess, "fist the poodle", "flatline the party", "Filch them pampers"? are some others I can think of. That 'face' mess is their tag, or something, and yes this stuff is just terrible.
Wish there was some way to teach them some basic guidelines (such as don't write on private garages!!) and help them foster their creativity in a longer lasting way...
posted by 5lbauthority at 10:59 AM on May 27, 2015

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