Suppose that Leonardo, Monet, Picasso, or any of the renowned artists of Western European culture were alive in the present day. Then, suppose that one of these famous artists decided to paint a masterpiece on the side of your house or on your front door or on a wall in your neighborhood. Would Picasso or Monet's markings be graffiti or art or vandalism or graffiti art? The response may differ across people; their markings would meet the criteria as vandalism only if they appeared on private or public property without permission. The same answer holds for the present day, genre of graffiti known as graffiti art.
Graffiti art first appeared in the late 1960's, and it has been rising ever since. Nevertheless, it is not readily accepted as being art like those works that are found in a gallery or a museum. It is not firmly denied the standing of genuine art because of a lack of form or other base aesthetic essentials. Most of the opposition to graffiti art is due to its place and daring, unexpected, and alternative presentation, but its presentation and often-illegal location does not always bar it as art. The type of graffiti, which can be accepted as art, is called graffiti art, subway art, or spraycan art.
The arguments of vandalism and unconventional presentation as negating the ability of some graffiti to be art is taken over by an explanation of those properties apparent in some forms of graffiti that do qualify it, aesthetically, as art.
The beginning of graffiti goes back to the beginnings of human, societal living. Graffiti has been found on uncovered, ancient, Egyptian monuments, and graffiti even was conserved on walls in Pompeii. Graffiti is the plural form of the Italian word grafficar. In plural, grafficar signifies drawings, markings, patterns, scribbles, or messages that are painted, written, or carved on a wall or surface. Grafficar also signifies "to scratch" in reference to different wall writings ranging from "cave paintings", bathroom scribbles, or any message that is scratched on walls. In reference to present day graffiti, the definition is qualified by adding that graffiti is also any unsolicited marking on a private or public property that is usually treated as vandalism.
There are varieties of graffiti. One of the basic kinds is that of individual markings such as slogans, slurs, or political statements. Examples of this type of graffiti commonly are found in bathrooms or on exterior surfaces, and this graffiti is usually handwritten. Another simple form is that of the tag, which is a fancy, scribble-like writing of one is name or nickname. That is, tag signifies one's name or nickname.
Both the tag and individual mark have little or no aesthetic appeal. While they might suggest a talent or technique of writing, these varieties fail to meet the requirements, as example of superb graffiti art because of a lack of visual qualities and failure to produce a maximal artistic feeling in the viewer. In fact, the tag or individual mark is not produced for artistic purposes. It is a means to indicate the writer's presence, i.e., the age-old statement of "I was here."
Murals for community enrichment and ornamentation are also a type of graffiti even though they are not usually thought of this way because most murals are custom-built. These are more vivid and multifaceted. They take significant amount of skill to complete, and murals can be done in a graffiti art style or a traditional pictorial scene.
Gang markings of territory also fit the description of graffiti, and they mainly consist of tags and messages that provide "news" of happenings in the...