Robert Janz was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1932. He is one of Ireland’s most celebrated living artists, with an international reputation stretching from Los Angeles to New York, London, Madrid and Dublin.
Walking back through Chinatown I stopped and added a couple of my wild animals to a mess of graffiti on an old door. Suddenly I was surrounded by Police cars. They had me sit on the ground while they loomed over asking endless questions...
'You came over from Tribeca to vandalize in Chinatown? We are booking you for defacing private property!'
I said that the graffiti on the door was vandalizing private property and my drawing was on it and graffiti is public property and I was the public...
We were not getting anywhere. I noticed rain water in the gutter and said that the graffiti was spray paint and mine poster paint and it would wash off. The biggest cop replied that if I could wash it off they would not book me. I took some paper from the street, wet it and went up to my drawing.
My drawing looked very permanent but, to my surprise, the first stroke washed it all off. They were astonished, I was too: the crime had disappeared.