Graffiti Essay

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Graffiti is Vandalism, Not Art|
16 MARCH 2011|

The thread of this simple essay will centre on the controversy surrounding “graffiti art”—is it art or simply vandalism. The paper will explore the true meaning of graffiti art, characteristics of common graffiti which includes a background history of its evolution in society, the different motives of artists who uses graffiti art, the conclusive facts that stem from my own point of view, and what the future holds for the graffitist. Overall, this paper will explore the culture of graffiti—is it art or vandalism.

What image comes into mind when one hears the word, “graffiti?” From Wikipedia, “Graffiti” is the name for images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property ( It is simply decoration or set of symbols inscribed on walls or any surface and is intended as a form of expression and a way of communicating feelings and meaning in the world by the artist. Often, it is regarded as an unsightly sight that causes damage and unwanted vandalism.

Two distinct categories identify graffiti; “Popular Graffiti” and “Community-based graffiti.” Though different in nature, they both share the same principle of exhibiting in a public space. ( * Popular Graffiti is the type of graffiti encountered on a daily basis; on bathroom walls, public transport seats, billboards, street signs, on trees, on school desks, sidewalks, public transports’ waiting sheds, telephone booths, or anywhere else space is visible and can be scribbled. Witty and rude commentaries comprise most of these graffiti—the “fuck you’s,” the love proclamations, “so-and-so’s were here,” “eat me’s,” etc. * Community Based Graffiti is a category for hip-hop graffiti and the gang graffiti. It is a visual product of the hip-hop culture, an offbeat youth culture emerging in society, and thus is...
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