Thursday, September 30, 2004

"Is Graffiti Art Or Vandalism"

To begin with i decided to define the terms art, artists and vandalism:
  1. Art-Human creative skill or its application or work exhibiting this.
  2. Artists-Somebody who practises any of the arts (sculpture, photography, fine art)
  3. Vandalism-wilful or malicious destruction or damage to works of art or other property.

Graffiti-italia-Graffiare "to scratch"

Graffiti is a form of communicating ideas and feelings that are both personal and free of the everyday social restraints that are normally frowned upon by society they provide us with an insight into the society in which the artist lives and the type of person they are. Graffiti is an expression of oneself and there feelings about current affairs at the time in which they illustrate their ideas in the form of words, phrases, images, sculptures and tags which are deliberately situated in places where they will gain ultimate recognition by society it gives artists the opportunity to share there opinions through the creation of more unconventional art forms that appear in the street as opposed to the gallery, Graffiti means that art is more accessible to everyone and it does not come at a price.

Graffiti began hundreds of years ago at the time of the caveman who made inscriptions and illustrations to communicate with other tribes and warn off evil spirits. Now archaeologists study this early form of communication and exhibit artefacts in museums however Graffiti is much more contraversial since that time, it has been labelled as instances of public "vandalism" but to some people it is still what the artists intended it to be "peoples art" an attempt to beautify or improve public spaces without official approval.

The problems associated with Graffiti stem from the Bronx in America where Graffiti has plagued the city of NewYork (in my opinion Graffiti in this part of the world is some of the best i have seen) according to the psychologist Sigmund Freud who carried out a psychoanalytical report Graffiti is about neighbourhood identity and narcissism but to others these signs (known as tags) are the artists notoriety without incriminating themselves. The problems in the Bronx have been dealt with so severely because crime experts believe that this minor crime results in major crimes beeing commited.

Obviously some people regard Graffiti as vandalism and others as art i regard Graffiti as art it is a technique which is very difficult to master but one which has immense credibilty amongst artists and designers it cannot be regarded as anything other in my opinion all good art is controversial and relies on the audience to question what is actually being said it might deal with current affairs which are not morally justifiable such as war and terrorism or it might just be a creative image which uses intricate patterns and elaborate typography its visually stunning and demands a second glance to really appreciate the work that has gone into it the concept of Graffiti being a "peoples art" is a very good one allowing everyone the chance to appreciate it regardless of their socio-economic identity.

To conclude i believe that Graffiti is only vandalism when it is mindless tagging or bombing this type of graffiti is impulsive and self absorbed the use of explicit one liners is just degrading and only results in bad press and the stigma that has become associated with graffiti in this modern age.

"Art is what you can get away with "- Marshall Mcluhan

(Taken from The Art Of Seeing Sideways by Alan Fletcher)


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