Saturday, September 09, 2017

Is graffiti a form of art?

Take a quick glance at the table in front of you. Has it been vandalized? You might ask yourself that if vandalism is illegal then what makes that of graffiti an art? The term graffiti comes from the Greek word graphein, which means, “to write”. It is unsightly damage or vandalism done without permission and it is against the law. However, it is also considered a form of expression painted illicitly on a wall that any passerby in an urban cityscape can still appreciate. These observations that graffiti is still art because of visual aesthetics, graffiti subculture and love declarations.

Graffiti, at a first glance may be unsightly to look at but for some with aesthetic experience with the kind of visual art that graffiti for them would meaningfully be pleasing appearance of a painting. This implies that the gist of a painting/graffiti art lies with discipline through understanding emotional experience given by the first visual encounter with it.


Next is the influence of graffiti subculture. Graffiti was primarily used to make political statements and mark street gang territory which began in the late 1960s in Philadelphia. It was also the start of when graffiti subculture began to emerge. What differentiates it from many other youth groups or subcultures is its explicitness, open recognition and having their own purpose. Many officials and community leaders see graffiti as generally destructive to the community and they also view the cost of graffiti cleanup as an excessive burden in the city. Therefore, graffiti subculture has a way to establish independence, gain recognition and create masculinity in youth as a masterpiece.

Lastly, the declaration of love as this pertains to “tagging” which is a way for street artists to sign their name anonymously. Ancient graffiti displayed phrases of love declarations, political rhetoric and simple words of thought compared to today’s popular messages of social and political ideals. It can also be a personal interpretation that extends up to anecdotes of the fascinating poets in street art.

In conclusion, writers are inspired by blank canvases and a blank canvas has unlimited possibilities. Graffiti is a form of art that creates paths from merely appreciation for the art to cultivating its masterpiece and poets that leads you to your own hearts.

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