IS GRAFFITI ART OR VANDALISM?

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IS GRAFFITI ART OR VANDALISM?

By: Patrick Moran

 

When living in Chicago and attending a school like Whitney Young one is bound to see graffiti. This graffiti can be in school but is most often seen just walking or driving in the city. Graffiti over the years has slowly become more mainstream in the art world, but still remains an underground culture to most people. One trend that has popped up in response to graffiti is the street art movement. Street art is not graffiti because of two very important reasons. Graffiti inherently is a counter culture that does not respect boundaries that street art follows. In addition to this graffiti implies that there are letters that are the focus of the mural or piece. With that being said I do believe that Graffiti is both art and vandalism and the mix of the two is entirely dependent on the individual writing the words. 

 

I think like all things graffiti is not an absolute when it comes to vandalism vs art. With many things in our modern world things are on a spectrum and are by no means an absolute. However with graffiti it often seems that media portrays it as vandalism and on the other side, those in the art world think that it is just as any other medium and have made attempts to commercialize the form. It really resides somewhere in the middle of all that wherever the artist desires.