Scott LoBaido's Kensington mural gets a fanged face lift

Kensington muralist gives defaced Old Glory some bite

for The Brooklyn Paper
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A Staten Island artist whose wall-sized American flag mural was defaced with the words “Patriotism makes me sick” last month has found a way to protect his Kensington artwork from future vandals — he’s added a fierce, 10-foot-long bodyguard.

Scott LoBaido returned to McDonald Avenue near Cortelyou Road to paint a massive rattlesnake, as well as the phrase “Don’t tread on me” atop the unpatriotic scrawl on Friday — references to a banner once used by the Navy known as the Gadsen flag.

But the additions weren’t just for show — they were a direct threat to the man who defaced his mural several weeks ago, LoBaido said.

“Don’t tread on me, and don’t tread on this flag,” said a paint-speckled LoBaido as he finished his mural add-ons. “This snake has been provoked and now it’s coming at you.”

LoBaido has been trying to track down the vandal with the help of police, which has had access to footage of the vandalism taken from a nearby security camera, but the bearded vandal remains on the loose.

LoBaido said he isn’t going to stop looking for the wall scrawler.

“I have private investigators looking into this for free, and a forensics guy who used to be a Navy spy in San Francisco helping me out,” said LoBaido. “This thing ain’t dying down — I know I’m not going to let it down.”

LoBaido said the mural tagger went too far by writing “Patriotism makes me sick” on his flag.

And this artist knows something about taking things too far.

LoBaido was arrested in 1999 for hurling horse manure at the Brooklyn Museum as he protested an exhibit showcasing a black Virgin Mary statue made out of elephant dung.

The muralist said he would applaud the vandal if he had put his statement on anything else but his flag.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow his Tweets at @from_where_isit.

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Reader Feedback

manhatposeur from manhatland says:
Its one thing to repiar and remain defiant, its another to taunt the beardo. I dont think the hipster who messed with the mural will not be detered from defacing it again.
Besides, don't both of you have better things to do?
June 6, 2012, 9:14 am
Darwin from Ditmas says:
The left fang looks weird.
June 6, 2012, 9:39 am
Miguel Carraway from Clinton Hill says:
America -- —— yeah!
June 6, 2012, 1:22 pm
Vito from Bensonhurst says:
Kudos to LoBaido for slapping up another masterpiece so quickly: the two new elements rock.
Can anyone else figure out what the hell the 'poseur' is trying to say with this inane comment?
The artist, the person who commissioned this, the people in this neighborhood, don't strike me as the type to fret over the possibility that the schmuck who scribbled over no 1 might do so again.
Can't imagine anything better being done in this case.
June 6, 2012, 8:54 pm
nancy from coney says:
how would people of other countries like it is we defaced a symbol that people died for a symbol of their country,how would this jerk like it if we went to his country if hes from another country and did that to his flag.if your that putz is from america and hes not happy. then do us all a favor if your not happy leave we have enough clowns here sponging off the system get a job mister and help america not hurt it or leave see if life is better in anonther country 4 father and mother server this country in ww2 believing in what that flag represents my grandparents came here as immigrants because they were looking for a better life, i think its terrible that someone would deface anyones symbols let alone the american sybol
June 6, 2012, 9:53 pm
Fingling Van Gina from Park Slope says:
I like it - the motif looks like a classy strip joint.
June 7, 2012, 7:09 am
chris says:
June 7, 2012, 11:33 pm

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