Extremely polite and incredibly creative anarchy. That’s probably the best way to describe the super witty r/MildlyVandalised subreddit. An online community with a solid following of nearly 380k members, it’s been making our days brighter with photos of artful and witty ‘mild vandalism’ all the way since 2015.
These tiny public sphere projects straddle the grey area between street art, vandalism, and gentle humor. Check out some of the best pics below, Pandas! Remember to upvote your fave ones as you scroll down. And be sure to let us know which of these you wouldn’t mind stumbling across in your neighborhood.
Bored Panda wanted to get to grips with the line between art and vandalism, so we reached out to Lithuanian street art blogger Kristina Kurilaitė for her expert opinion. Kristina, who runs the ‘Gatvės meno galerija’ (‘Street Art Gallery’) blog, told us that what matters greatly is the person’s intent: whether they aim to spread a message or simply to cause damage. Read on for our full interview with her! Got your artists’ berets on? Good, let’s go!
Oh, and for some more harmless but hilarious ‘mild vandalism,’ check out Bored Panda’s earlier articles about the online group here: Part 1 and Part 2.
#1 Dog Waste Bin In Britain This Morning
Image credits: Make_the_music_stop
“Writing on the wall in a public space is controversial and questionable. When I see something written or painted on the wall I ask myself what it is: graffiti, a tag, stencil art, or a mural? The second question is what is its purpose?” blogger Kristina, who published the very first street art magazine in Lithuania, explained to Bored Panda how she approaches the line between art and vandalism.
The founder of the ‘Gatvės meno galerija’ (‘Street Art Gallery’) blog shared how we can tell the difference between graffiti, tagging, stencils, and murals.
“Graffiti artists usually use a bright stylistic symbol or a phrase to gain attention or to express themselves through the illegal act, and it gives them adrenaline and satisfaction. Tagging is a form of graffiti in which a person leaves his signature so its purpose is to show people that they were there, in that place,” she said.
“Stencil art has more variants and interpretations. With stencil art, you can spread a meaningful message. Murals (big paintings on the wall) are legal art. Mural artists have a big platform to express themselves, but their artistic freedom is limited because there are a lot of documents and rules they should follow to paint in a public space.”
#2 Awesome Find In Durham
Image credits: frenchcat808
#3 This Little Piggy
Image credits: jennypentland
However, when it comes to deciding whether something is vandalism or street art, there’s no clear-cut answer. You have to look at each case individually. “In my opinion, graffiti, tagging, and stencil art can be seen as an act of vandalism when the purpose of this act is not to spread the message but just to mark the place, for example, to damage a new building,” Kristina shared how she approaches this. “If you are caught doing this, you get a fine.”
Bored Panda was also interested to get the street art blogger’s opinion about spreading humor in public spaces through street art. Kristina told us that this reminded her of artist Clet Abraham, who uses road signs as his canvas. (We’ve featured his work on Bored Panda before.)
“Clet uses customized stickers to make humorous alternative versions of traffic signs,” Kristina said. She drew our attention to the fact that, in one of his interviews, Clet discussed how street signs “use a very simple, almost universal language.”
“As it was research on a language common to all. It’s a visual language. I found this idea very interesting. The question is: how to communicate to a vast number of people in the most direct way possible? For me, it was like going back to the very origin of visual communication. So, I started to draw playing with this language,” artist Clet said.
#4 I Found This Gem Somewhere In Hartford, Cn Last Week
Image credits: Buuuuuus
#5 No Signs Were Posted
Image credits: No-Suggestion-9482
#6 Tough Choice!
Image credits: TondalayaSwartzkopf
Blogger Kristina opened up to us that humorous and playful street art makes her smile. “I believe it makes the city more alive,” she told Bored Panda how this changes the public sphere.
“It starts the conversation between residents and streets. If we pay more attention, we can discover the new hidden part of our city, so the joy or amazement of discovery is guaranteed!”
Image credits: FriendshipElegant401
Image credits: comics0026
#9 The City Says It Will Take At Least 7 Years To Construct A Bike Lane So We Drew One In Chalk Connecting A Big Trail With Some Neighborhoods To Show How Easy It Could Be. Paint Coming Soon
Image credits: hikerjukebox
The r/MildlyVandalised subreddit invites people to share photos and videos of mild vandalism. The pics have to be funny, mindful, and creative, but essentially harmless.
In other words, the community does not condone actual vandalism. It does, however, give humor, art, and wit the platform that it rightfully deserves!
The best way to gauge whether something is ‘mild vandalism’ or actual vandalism is to look at the amount of damage done. If someone’s artistic endeavors end up doing a ton of costly damage to someone’s property, then clearly, someone’s stepped over the line. However, subtle and silly strokes of street art are to be celebrated (and some would say even encouraged).
#10 This Is A Great Idea
Image credits: crabnox
Image credits: Major_Lee_Garsol
#12 My Sponge Is Shy
Image credits: Reandr12
Meanwhile, the moderator team asks its members to be polite, adhere to ‘rediquette’ (aka Reddit etiquette), and avoid reposting any pics that have been shared on r/MildlyVandalised in the last 90 days.
Redditors should also avoid sharing popular pics that are in the sub’s top 50 posts of all time. Something else that should be avoided are pics of bathroom graffiti. “Though this type of vandalism is often mild, it’s common and doesn’t fit the theme of the subreddit. Please make these posts to /r/ToiletDoodles,” the mods ask.
And even though the team running the r/MildlyVandalised subreddit states that all pics “must be vandalism” and that “street art doesn’t count,” you could argue that a lot of the content that members share has its roots firmly planted in the grey area between the two categories.
#13 Some Of The Old Tiles In The Underpass Fell Off
Image credits: piratesushi
#14 A Tribute To Bruce Wills Found In My Office Area
Image credits: Skud_NZ
#15 Uno Reverse Card On Mild Vandalism
Image credits: lootheman
The line between street art and vandalism is often very subjective and way blurrier than many would like. But we think that’s part of the fun. What someone might describe as an affront to civilization might make someone else chuckle and smile, as they’re taken out of their comfort zone. Art is messy. And you can’t make a statement without breaking at least some boundaries.
#16 No Playing Dice With Squirrels
Image credits: _062862
Image credits: Amourofzedoute
Image credits: Amourofzedoute
A while back, Bored Panda got in touch with the mod team running the whole show. “Mild vandalism is vandalism that is humorous but not overly damaging,” one of the mods explained to us.
“Regular vandalism is costly to fix and malicious in intent. The sub is about mostly-harmless but humorous vandalism intended to make people laugh,” the mod told Bored Panda the last time we spoke to them.
#19 “Dark Forces Are Coming…”
Image credits: UDAFX_MK_85
#20 Anti Abortion Ad On Public Transit
Image credits: reddit.com
#21 Who You Gonna Call?
Image credits: HaphazardFlitBipper
Another moderator shared with us that the r/MildlyVandalised subreddit reacted to the latest news and events around the world. Back in 2020, for example, many redditors were focused on the presidential elections in the United States.
“Recently, political posts have been at the top, but [they still] have to be funny and clever. Those seem to be the ones that make it the highest,” the mod told us at the time.
#22 I Certainly Would
Image credits: rickdagless666
#23 I Agree With Them
Image credits: Alezagara
#24 This Was A Nice Change At The Pump
Image credits: Max_1995
“Posts do well the funnier they are, with the caveat that Reddit’s usual issues do sometimes interfere. Posting the same post at different times can have different results,” one moderator noted that there’s some luck involved if you want your post to get the attention you think it deserves.
#25 Somebody Get This Guy A Doctor
Image credits: Mother_Potential_389
#26 Caution: Falling Sheep
Image credits: Paula_S_15
#27 Good Soldiers Follow Orders
Image credits: Roy_McCoy08
Which of these acts of mild vandalism impressed you the most, dear Pandas? Were there any pics that made you laugh out loud? Which photos do you personally think are the most artistic? Share your thoughts with everyone in the comments!
Image credits: Consfez
#29 Glasgow City Centre
Image credits: Physical_Parsnip_535
#30 Helping Them Out
Image credits: KrigeV
#31 Pikachu I Choose You!
Image credits: UrameshiYuusuke
#32 Polite Notice
Image credits: Major_Lee_Garsol
#33 There Should Also Be A “Say Open Sesame“ On The Restroom Door
Image credits: CoopedUp1313
#34 Grout (Apologies If It’s A Rule 5 Breaker)
Image credits: VanillaLoaf
#35 Picture That I Took Of An Altered Billboard In Milwaukee
Image credits: ThisGuyRightHereSaid
#36 Corrected Military Billboard Spotted In Richmond, Virginia
Image credits: comics0026
#37 Keep An Eye Out
Image credits: Ethos1330
#38 Don’t Do It
Image credits: Flawsy6Fanadic
#39 The 14th Room On The 3rd Floor Of My School
Image credits: Niggulas
Image credits: renoscarab
#41 Spotted In Paris
Image credits: Bomboo2810
#42 It’s True, They Are
Image credits: feral000
#43 Went On A Googly Eye Spree At The Mall Last Weekend
Image credits: luckysgrow
#44 As Long As It’s Pure
Image credits: henryjohnsonhj
#45 No, He Didn’t
Image credits: morefetus
#46 I May Have Chuckled When I Saw This At The Grocery Store, But Still Trashy. This Would Be About $2
Image credits: 420_Blaze_It_Aagz
Image credits: Jizzle_Sticks
#48 Kind Citizen Marked The Mute So You Don’t Have To Listen To The Commercials While Pumping Gas
Image credits: ishwari10
#49 Walked Into A Verizon Store Today. Does This Count?
Image credits: AdFuture2294
#50 Beware Of The Falling Cactus
Image credits: Shpander
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Author: Gabija Saveiskyte