PORTLAND -- A North Portland man admitted to police he wrote his tag “at least 200 times” in the Portland area over the last 8 months.
Noah Smith, 21, pleaded not guilty on two charges of criminal mischief Friday in a Multnomah County Court.
The large St. John’s mural led to his arrest.
It stretches along the side of the Grocery Outlet store on North Lombard Street. The wall used to be a magnet for taggers, which is why the community worked so hard to fund raise, hire an artist, and create the mural.
Robert Petty was one of the original organizers and was furious when the large mural was tagged.
“It wasn’t just me outraged. It was everybody who had been involved in that project,” Petty said.
Smith told police he put his mark on the mural because it was an “eyesore and stupid”.
After his court hearing he told KGW the painting is “ugly.”
“I think it’s an eyesore, honestly. It’s no different. Why is it OK for someone to paint on wood and screw it up to the side of the building but it’s not okay for someone to write on the building?” Smith asked.
The difference might be the ownership of the building.
Smith was so proud of his tagger mark that he posted lots of pictures on Instagram, the social networking site for photos.
Casey Parks, a reporter with The Oregonian, tracked down Smith’s tag through the site and the rest didn’t take very long.
“Well isn’t that funny. We got to be careful what we post online,” said a laughing Petty.
Smith was a real nuisance in St. John’s, but the mural organizers respect art and might even give Smith his own canvass.
“I'd be happy to give him a canvass and he could paint and we could get funding for it if he wanted to put it up in a more organized manner,” said Jennifer Levy, another mural organizer. “But to just come and cover up another, a piece, somebody else's art work it was not good.”
Smith isn’t sure if he’ll take the offer.
“Uh, I don’t know, maybe," he said.
First he'll probably have to deal with his criminal cases.