Art On The Verge Of Vandalism: What In Fact Is Street Art? | Uncustomary

Every day, we see art. When a backstreet painting suddenly appears on the walls of someone’s house or store, one thing is always clear. Art is a form of expression, and anything that reeks of political undertones or touches on our social world grabs the attention of even that person who doesn’t know how to interpret artistic creations.

In classroom discussions around the world, and in small talks on the street – everyone believes art is a product of inspiration. Somehow it is, but a growing concern that street art is vandalism elicits mixed reactions. Well, to understand this, let’s start by defining street art.

What Is Street Art?

Art On The Verge Of Vandalism: What In Fact Is Street Art? | Uncustomary

Down the bridge or at the subway station, street art puns often appear on walls, and we may never know who did a painting depicting political incorrectness. In the big cities, the works of anonymous artists do appear every so often, using graffiti supplies like stencil drawings and some are infused with fresh paint. In a nutshell, street art lights up public discourse no matter how hard we try to resist.

Graffiti refers to drawings or writings that have been scribbled, illegally prayed or scratched on walls in public spaces. The controversy is that those who do it never want to cross paths with municipal authorities, lest they end up in jail or pay fines of thousands of dollars.

Why Do People Draw Graffiti?

Art On The Verge Of Vandalism: What In Fact Is Street Art? | Uncustomary

  • Apart from trying to pass across political or social messages, there is more to graffiti than meets our eyes. Art comes right out of the soul, and with a mind inspired to draw anything, it is one of the things to do when you are bored. Graffiti is a recreation of your most fabulous ideas.
  • Sometimes, graffiti on street walls is a way of marking territories by gangs that want to show that they control a particular area. Pop culture has for a long time been associated with street art, and it is no wonder you will often spot graffiti in music videos. But, the big question remains – has street art been vandalizing public spaces?
  • Another purpose of graffiti is to tell a story or simply express one’s self. It is usually spontaneous, and walls are the canvas.

Types Of Graffiti

Art On The Verge Of Vandalism: What In Fact Is Street Art? | Uncustomary

Sometimes street art can be beautiful, while some drawings are brutality. According to the United States Dept. of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, there are different types of graffiti, such as the following:

  • Tagger graffiti, which could range from sophisticated to simple artwork on the streets. Ostensibly, this type of expression in street art usually hinged on the intention of someone doing it.
  • Conventional graffiti is another form of art you will often come across on the streets downtown. It is most of the times spontaneous, but the intention could be that a young person is trying to convey malice or vindication.
  • Gang graffiti is another category, with is a way of marking territory.  It can carry violent intentions or mimicry.
  • Last but not least, ideological street art denotes hate, politics, or transmit messages with racial, religious, and ethnic undertones.

Does Graffiti Vandalize Public Spaces?

Art On The Verge Of Vandalism: What In Fact Is Street Art? | Uncustomary

Now, considering the above, PapersOwl has written many articles on street art with the aim of exploring its purpose, not to mention that it is an area on which a student who wants to pay for college papers can do a presentation. Below are points that explore whether graffiti is on the verge or vandalism or not.

  • Art is always going to inspire us

The art collection is a hobby, but what about if we cannot buy it just because a drawing is on someone’s wall? Well, that is where graffiti fit the jigsaw. We love colors, and so, an artist who partakes in tagger street art knows how to cheer someone up even without being part of their lives. Shepard Fairey, a renowned graffiti artist from the USA, painted hope poster for the Obama campaign in 2008, and his works remain in gallery displays.

  • Fear of victimization  

Government hardly takes the idea of graffiti lightly. While street artists like Banksy from Bristol remain anonymous, a number of interviews given by some of them under cover-up circumstances show that the fear of victimization becomes manifest. Most people think one person couldn’t have realized ‘Banksy effect’; thus, it is a group of people doing what they know best, with graffiti as a weapon they use to hit the government.

The question is would Banksy’s drawings be as effective as they are today if the law protects street art? Well, free speech that seems to criticize bad politics or convey social norms shouldn’t be seen to vandalize public spaces because it cannot thrive under strict legal assessments.

  • Commercial Ads are the worst vandals of public spaces

We are never coerced to love or stop by graffiti signs. We simply do it. However, that is not the case with marketing messages that appear on street billboards every day. Advertising agencies buy and sell spaces with the intention of persuading the public to do something, even if they cannot afford it. It is a robbery of conscience and the freedom to choose what we want. On the flip-side, while graffiti may be violent, it opens up conscience for public discourse on communal and political matters.

Final Thoughts

Art On The Verge Of Vandalism: What In Fact Is Street Art? | Uncustomary

It is hard to imagine a world without street art. Sometimes they beautify public spaces, and with the popularity of world’s renowned artists like Fairey and Bansky inspiring millions around the world, the debate on whether graffiti vandalize public space remains hinged on purpose or intention.