THE BUFFER'S SOLILOQUY






"As part of the vandal squad I remove graffiti. I'm known as a 'buffer'. If you paint on something without permission, chances are, I'll be painting over it. Call it a collaboration if you will, only I get a little overzealous with the paint."

"Don't get me wrong, I've got an artistic side. I love watercolour landscapes but you don't see me daubing that stuff out in public, do you? A gallery. If it's good, a gallery will share your paintings. That's the system, that's how it works."









"Graffiti gets everywhere. Public toilets, walls, trains and one colleague once said he had seen some throw ups on a cow. I try to keep pace in the hopes of discouraging them. Sometimes, just as I'm finishing up, they'll appear with their camera but it's already too late. I like those moments. They are small victories."









"Some days can be really busy. I can fill an entire day with buffing and then I realize I've not even had a chance to sit down. I guess it's better than clockwatching and killing time on Facebook, filling out quizzes to find out what country I would be if I was a country or some nonsense like that."









"But other days? Other days can be so beautiful and it makes all the hours spent outside worth it. The days where it's been raining the night before are even better; people don't like to paint in the wet, so I usually know I'll have an easier time in the morning."









"I'm not on the front line, chasing down these graffiti guys or anything like that. That sort of work is left to the detectives. I mainly get called out to spots for the clean up. With that said, I heard the rattling of a can and spraying coming from round the corner once. By the time I got there, whoever had been tagging up the place was gone. I bagged up the can that was left behind and gave it to one of the detectives...you never know."









"I know it seems boring to a lot of people and graffers think I'm working for 'the man' but I don't care. I really like what I do. I'm not given the widest of palettes, we don't have the budget for a massive library of colours but I think I manage pretty well given my resources. I put a little of myself into each spot. Sometimes I photograph the really good buffings for posterity because the graffers will only scrawl over it again in a week's time..."






Posted 6th March, 2014





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