|JOE CONNOLLY “The Graffiti Guerrila” Graffiti Buffer
Infamy’s Joe Connolly is dedicated - as dedicated to painting over and scrubbing away graffiti from the Los Angeles cityscape as its most prolific creators are to putting it there. Joe’s famous sign at Pico and Fairfax exclaims: “GRAFFITI NO LONGER ACCEPTED HERE. PLEASE FIND A DAY JOB, THANK YOU.” Cal-Trans declared Joe Connolly the “Graffiti Guerrilla”, and there is likely no single citizen more dedicated to buffing – removing and painting over graffiti - on Earth. With over 30,000 hours of community service logged to date, Joe stresses the importance of respectability and responsibility, working with gang members, graffiti writers, and transients to make them more productive members of our communities. Joe Connolly grew up in an Irish Catholic family neighborhood in Chicago. In 1968 his family moved to San Jose, California. Joe graduated from San Jose State University in 1978 with a degree in Business Administration and Psychology. He married Jeri Pupos- “a nice Jewish girl” – in 1984. He, Jeri and their baby daughter Jessica, moved to the Fairfax area of Los Angeles in 1986. Joe has been in the wholesale carpet business for 21 years, and in that time has achieved over $50,000,000 in sales. His free time is spent fundraising for the Jewish Community Centers Association and Los Angeles Unified School District, speaking on community issues in LAUSD schools, spearheading and directing a volunteer citizen safety patrol, serving as president of the Carthay Square Neighborhood Association, participating in the L.A. Marathon and coaching youth baseball and soccer.
"Off The Wall", a documentary that aired nationally on PBS in 1996, focused on Joe’s approach to ending graffiti and other problems in our communities. He has been honored and endorsed for his many community accomplishments by Mayor Richard Riordan, Councilman Michael Fever, Councilman Laura Chick, The Los Angeles Times, the LAPS, Cal-Trans, the Los Angeles Dodgers, KNBC 4 and many others. Joe has been featured in hundreds of media stories. City Hall admirers and community leaders describe him as one of Los Angeles’ “biggest assets.” Joe understands full well that graffiti is a cat and mouse game, and that the roles shift depending on who is painting – or scrubbing – at any given moment. He’s become a great fan of legally executed work, whether on the street or in galleries. He knows full well that buffing someone’s work is a taunt that may inspire more graffiti, and he’s developed his own means of dealing with repeat offenders, one right within the graffiti vernacular. Pointing in the film to a tag of his own “A.M.B.” – he explains, “AMB – All My Bitches. When I control a tag crew, I put that on top of them and they kind of know that they have to stay out.”