The Writing On The Wall (is graffiti an art form?)

Topics: Graffiti, Art, Street art Pages: 2 (692 words) Published: April 10, 2002
"Graffiti is an art form" Or is it? There are many arguments for and against graffiti. In this essay, I will try to tackle the various aspects of these arguments, giving proof along the way. My interest in graffiti is purely artistic; I feel this essay may be more biased towards graffiti as an art form, as I think it is a beautiful and interesting branch of artistic talent and individualism.

Is graffiti an Art Form?. There is an anonymous man, who I will refer to as Dain, in Switzerland who is an 'artist', in the commonly known sense of the word. He does sculptures, oil paintings, prints, sketches and more. His art originates in his graffiti. He is a graffiti artist and what is thought of as an 'artist'. He was commissioned to decorate a railway station in his 'unique' style. If you would like to see this, go to and find 'Dain'. Graffiti artists from the suburbs of New York have suddenly arrived as cult figures in the modern Art world. This is the modern Art world, not the world of Modern Art. Graffiti is not seen as Modern Art, it is merely a creative art form using letters to form pictures. A calligrapher could be seen as an artist in this respect and a graffiti writer could be seen as a calligrapher.

Or is graffiti Vandalism?. I feel that tagging is vandalism, but throw ups and murals are not. Tagging is a way of showing that you have been there, marking your territory; this is often likened to a dog leaving its mark on a lamppost. A throw up is left as a proof of your talent as an artist, usually sprayed on trains and walls around train tracks. A throw up can be very complicated and the difference between a throw up and a mural is a very fine line. "Graffiti is seen as 'vandalism', an ugly and terrifying threat to social value, which not only frightens, but cost U.S. tax payers four billion dollars in 1995." This quote is taken from the introduction to 'Graffito' by

Michael Walsh; a book that tries to understand graffiti by tracing...
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