Graffiti is defined as the act of inscribing or drawing on walls for the purpose of communicating a message to the general public. The term comes from the Greek term "Graphein," which means 'to write.' It has been around since men first started drawing pictures in caves. The question as to whether any forms of graffiti can be considered art is controversial. Is it vandalism when it is placed on the side of a building or car and art when it is on a canvas on someone's wall or in a gallery; what’s the difference? Graffiti can be considered art because it contains artistic elements. It communicates the artist's expression to the viewer, and the traditional art community has already accepted it. Since the root of the word "graffiti" is "to write," then it can be interpreted as a human need for communication. Motives for producing this art vary immensely from artist to artist. Graffiti artists who are drawn to the art form for individual expression are much more creative with their work. They turn to it because they believe that the hip-hop style is the closest representation of who they are as a person. This type of artist usually works to master intricate designs of graffiti that say more than just their street names, but offer very appealing aesthetics. Without a better understanding of why artists turn to graffiti, it is not surprising that the average person's image of this type of artist is far from accurate. A majority of people tend to associate graffiti with vandalism. They think most of these artists are hoodlums or gang-bangers with nothing better to do with their time, when statistics now show that more than one-half of graffiti artists come from white middle- and upper-class homes in the suburban areas. Vandalism and graffiti derive from very different motives and environments. I believe there is a fine line between the two.
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