In recent years, especially with areas being gentrified and cities growing, vandalism and destruction of property have been big issues; graffiti being one of these things that has been a nuisance. Graffiti, sometimes referred to as street art, has been controversial on whether it should be seen as vandalism or modern art. However, people known to be more creative or open-minded see graffiti as a up and coming art style.
The typical people who see street art as an issue are older generations who find a can of spray paint and the artists that use it as unruly kids who are ruining public property. Other people see it a completely different way; people who do graffiti take a boring, bland wall and make it something beautiful that people can stop at and really think about what the piece means. Some of the dislike towards graffiti is justified. The tags on the walls can make a place look unsafe and unclean, scaring people from moving to that area. Although a decent chunk of tax money goes towards cleaning the streets of graffiti, it should still be seen as an art form.
There are different types of graffiti and that needs to be distinguished. Signatures, gang signs or other violent images should not be considered art. These things are done to scare people and mark territory, not to express something the artists feeling and make others ponder on the same thing. On the other hand, real street art and graffiti have artistic merit due to the meaning and purpose the artist puts into it. Just look to the most famous graffiti artist if more proof is required. Banksy sells his works for more than $400,000 each. He also has been on the forefront of the increasing popularity in graffiti art. In the most recent years, business owners will hire graffiti artists to create a mural on one of their exterior walls.
Graffiti should be considered a form of art and expression. Graffiti is used to comment on very political or social issues, especially in a public forum. It is also used a lot for artists who struggle to make it into the richer side of art, letting them express their feelings and beliefs in a public way, allowing unknown artists to gain recognition. This newer style of art is revolutionary and may change how people view the world and the plain walls around them. Artists are forced to see new types of mediums, walls included.
Taylor Snow // Editor-in-Chief