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A Budding Banksy in River Forest?

Charges filed after police discover the artist behind a series of vandalism incidents.

Street art or vandalism? 

Authorities chose vandalism. 

Augustus Federici, 19, of River Forest, was charged with criminal defacement of property after police identified him as the vandal behind several instances of graffiti at various railroad overpasses throughout the village. Police spotted Federici around 2:15 a.m. Monday and "discovered spray paint and markers in the backpack," according to a police report. 

"For what it’s worth," Deputy Chief Craig Rutz said, "the officers indicated he was very cooperative and took responsibility." 

At least one of the works, photographed here at the west-facing railroad overpass at Lake Street and Park Avenue, appears to be styled after British street artist Banksy.

So we ask you, readers, is this art or vandalism? And does it matter if the work is good or bad? 

Jjt May 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Talented kid. Love it! Looks like he improved the spaces he painted.
Jolyn Crawford May 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Art, give him a venue!
Edye May 24, 2012 at 02:44 PM
It is both. He vandalized with art. Since he broke the law, he should pay the fine Then give him a venue.
John C. May 24, 2012 at 03:37 PM
The more that overpass is covered with street art, the better. Our infrastructure is ugly (and unsafe - but that's another matter). Fine the kid? PAY him!
SM May 25, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Would love to see his portfolio! SM
Oakparker May 25, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Paying him makes sense, otherwise it is vandalism because it is private property. How would he feel about any of us spray painting his home or rooms in his home with our designs because we wanted to. Would you want his graffiti on your house or in one of the rooms of your house without your permission? If his graffiti is acceptable, would it still be acceptable if others started painting obscene drawings or words?
RF Citizen May 25, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I know the artist and have some of his work hanging in my home. He is very talented and its very clear even to a novice observer of the arts like me that the same artist was not responsible for all four of the images. He's accepted the responsibility for HIS actions, but shouldn't be blamed for others. Was our community really harmed by adding something with artistic value to cover the urban scar foisted on us? On the other hand, maybe we should fine the railroad for NOT beautifying their unwelcome infrastructure that they crammed into our community and don't bother to maintain. We could use the money to pay emerging artists like this who would beautify the community.
oap May 25, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Charlie Chaplin is art

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