Graffiti : Art or Vadalism ?

Charlie - posted on 09/08/2009 ( 36 moms have responded )

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I am not talking about tagging ( the scribbly writing you see on walls )
I am talking about actual pictures such as :
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/212/49371...
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/91/232641...
And of course the infamous Banksy :
http://johngushue.typepad.com/photos/unc...

Personally this type of graffiti i love , they are artworks IMO .
We have a rich culture of it in our cities especially Melbourne , Certain streets are famous for their amazing pieces .
In the city there are legal walls to graffiti some shops commission artists to apply their art to the walls even councils have been known to ask artist's to paint walls as most " taggers " will not "bomb " walls with artistic graffiti on them .
I dont like the look of tagging personally , i think its ugly and i do not condone graffiting peoples homes and fences .
Some would say that ALL graffiti is an eyesore and some people in Australia are kicking up a stink at Graffiti ART classes being held .
What are your opinions is graffiti Art or vandalism ??

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Kylie - posted on 09/08/2009

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you took my quote out of context there Konda..sorry if my post was rambling but i meant the doco on his graffiti was cool..seeing how he created his art from the initial idea to the final poster and the effort they go to get the art up without being caught.. it's the passion and commitment to what they do thats cool. Not specifically looking our for cops being cool...lol

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September - posted on 09/09/2009

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I think that it can be both. Living in Seattle I see some that are art and some that are vandalism. There are lots of gang tags in and out of Seattle, now that's what I call vandalism. Those are ugly to look at! There is another by the Zoo and I would consider that to be beautiful art!

Johnny - posted on 09/08/2009

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In my view, it is art. And I think there are some circumstances where artists should definitely ask permission and others where it is not necessary. Like abandoned buildings, run down bridges, falling down fences. If the person who owns them doesn't bother to maintain them, they are sort of abdicating responsibility for that property. I agree that it is unfair to place a work of art on a building that someone is clearly maintaining without asking permission. You wouldn't redecorate someone's bedroom without asking, so the same goes.

As for tagging, I can not stand it. But what I really hate to see is when the taggers attack the graffiti art. When some artist has gone to incredible efforts to create a piece, and some shee-ithead kid vandalizes it. Very stupid.

Dana - posted on 09/08/2009

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I think it's art. Tagging doesn't bother me either.



Loureen, thanks for the links on Banksy. I'm excited to show my husband who is also a artist. I've never heard of him before so I don't hink my husband has either. :)

?? - posted on 09/08/2009

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Quoting Konda:

Quoting Jo:

I think you're completely misinterpreting what Kylie is calling "kinda cool" but I'll leave that open for Kylie to elaborate on since she is the one that saw the doc & finds 'it kinda cool.'

From paying attention to anything that Kylie has said, ever, on this forum the last thing I would ever think she would describe as "kinda cool" is crime and it seems insulting to her and ludacris to insinuate that she would consider 'hiding from the cops' 'kinda cool'.




Well I would never intentionally insult anyone here, ok maybe a few of you, but I don't know Kylie from Joe Blow, so, Kylie, I am sorry if I took it out of context.  I reread it and can see that you more than likely meant that the documentary was 'kinda cool'.



Jo, you have to realize that not everyone has been here forever, so no, we do not all know what others are thinking or meaning....with time that may come, but not everyone is a mind reader, and again, I would not intentionally insult Kylie.



Uhm, I didn't imply that you knew her, I said me.. I would never think that of her, having read her posts - me, myself, I wasn't speaking for anyone else. Just myself.



The fact that if you don't know her, or her posts... you may not have intended to insult anyone but insinuating that they think hiding from the cops is cool or a good message without finding out first if that is what they meant is insulting anyways. Intentional or not - a stranger assuming the negative instead of asking a question, I find that to be insulting in any situation.



Anyways - Kylie cleared that up, didn't she :)



Back on topic !

Konda - posted on 09/08/2009

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Quoting Jo:

I think you're completely misinterpreting what Kylie is calling "kinda cool" but I'll leave that open for Kylie to elaborate on since she is the one that saw the doc & finds 'it kinda cool.'

From paying attention to anything that Kylie has said, ever, on this forum the last thing I would ever think she would describe as "kinda cool" is crime and it seems insulting to her and ludacris to insinuate that she would consider 'hiding from the cops' 'kinda cool'.


Well I would never intentionally insult anyone here, ok maybe a few of you, but I don't know Kylie from Joe Blow, so, Kylie, I am sorry if I took it out of context.  I reread it and can see that you more than likely meant that the documentary was 'kinda cool'.



Jo, you have to realize that not everyone has been here forever, so no, we do not all know what others are thinking or meaning....with time that may come, but not everyone is a mind reader, and again, I would not intentionally insult Kylie.



 

?? - posted on 09/08/2009

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I think you're completely misinterpreting what Kylie is calling "kinda cool" but I'll leave that open for Kylie to elaborate on since she is the one that saw the doc & finds 'it kinda cool.'

From paying attention to anything that Kylie has said, ever, on this forum the last thing I would ever think she would describe as "kinda cool" is crime and it seems insulting to her and ludacris to insinuate that she would consider 'hiding from the cops' 'kinda cool'.

Konda - posted on 09/08/2009

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Quoting Kylie:

. It was all underground, they go out in the middle of the night in a team..some looking out for cops..it was kinda cool but i can see how his work would inspire young taggers to graffiti the local play ground.


Yes, you quoted what I said, but not why I said it....I don't find it 'kinda cool' to be looking out for the cops....while sending a message of good.

Sharon - posted on 09/08/2009

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I have two awesome art pieces by a graffitti artist in tucson, done entirely with spray cans on poster board. I have no idea if they'll ever be worth crap but I love them.

he used to sell them at the local flea market / swap meet for $5 - $15.

?? - posted on 09/08/2009

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Nah I'm not saying that it's acceptable at all - of course there are victims and of course it is disrespectful and of course it costs money to fix but to ignore the message behind the art is silly.



Graffiti artists don't vandalise property with the intent to disrespect (I do know people who have illegally painted buildings - some that were caught and some that weren't), I'm sure there are some - TAGGERS - who do it because they have no respect at all... but the true artists they don't do it illegally and if they did it's just because they have no venue to be artistic to their fullest capacity.



To say, and I quote Konda



Yeah, 'looking out for the cops' while breaking the law is sending a wonderful message.



is silly. That isn't the message anyone is TRYING to send to ANYONE.

The message is in the art - not the act.



I hope my point is obvious now cause I am kinda bored of parroting the same words in a dozen different ways lol

Jodi - posted on 09/08/2009

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BTW, I don't have a problem with graffiti art classes, because I do believe it is a form of art. Perhaps the classes should also include some tips to the artists on how to gain legal permission. Like, how to go about spotting a location and approaching the appropriate people with a portfolio of work, and asking if they could use it, etc. Once they are established, they could very well be able to get paid work.

[deleted account]

Back to the initial ques... I think that some graffiti can be really beautiful (regardless of the legality of it) However i unfortunately rarely, if ever, see that kind of beautiful graffiti art :( All I ever see is the stupid lame tagging, and I HATE TAGGING! In an art appreciation class we learned a little about gorilla art and some of it was really cool, and I can totally appreciate the skill involved in those acts of expression! On the other hand if it cost me money to fix, repair, replace, or otherwise take care of some act of vandalism on my property I would likely be peeved, to say the least :) I'm sure at a later date when I'm not forking out money and look back on it, I may possibly be able to appreciate the art for what it was, but would likely have trouble doing so if it cost me $ :)

Amanda - posted on 09/08/2009

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I totally hate tagging, my husband and I have been considering hiring a Graffitti artist to do our whole garage door in ART so that stupid teens will stop tagging it. Many business's do this so they do not have to constantly repaint over bad graffitti. Those pictures are beautiful and for sure they are art work and only vadalism if it is not wanted on the walls they are painted on.

Jodi - posted on 09/08/2009

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No, the message IS also the ACT. I still maintain it is disrespectful. I don't think anyone is saying that graffiti and murder are equal at all, but it IS still a crime, and still does have 'victims'. We teach our children to respect other people's property (well if we don't we should!!). Being complacent about illegal graffiti art simply because this person COULD be doing worse things is sending a message that sometimes it is ok to be disrespectful of someone else's property because "it's not like you are out there murdering someone". Sure, the implications are not the same, but there is still a negative message in complacency about illegal acts of any kind.

?? - posted on 09/08/2009

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lol I figured so Jodi :)

I didn't want to 'not reply' to you though so I thought I'd just parrot myself haha



Konda - I hate it when people consider every crime to be just as bad as any other crime. I don't think, will never think and can't even fathom thinking; GRAFFITI and MURDER or GRAFFITI and CRACK - that these crimes are even remotely parrallel.



Crime is crime but ignoring the message in the artwork and instead replacing it with your own message of 'look out for the cops'... is pretty ridiculous. Again, the message is in the ART not in the ACT.

Jodi - posted on 09/08/2009

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Jo, I saw that after I posted mine - you must have been typing it at the same time I was, LOL.

Konda - posted on 09/08/2009

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I hate when people trivialize crimes, or say well, the cops do this so...Joe Blow isn't doing all that much worse. A crime is a crime. And no I do not speed, I do not run stop signs and do not break any other sort of crime. Yet, If I did, I wouldn't say, well, my husband speeds so I should be able to also. I so hate that line of thinking and even worse, is that my child is "just"....whatever, painting a wall, flashing people with his ass, rolling someone's yard with TP. To some parents 'just' selling crack is better than shooting someone in the head. A crime is a crime.

?? - posted on 09/08/2009

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Quoting Jo:

Like I said, I'm not condoning the illegal acts lol and I'm not trivializing the $$, time, emotion that comes from being a victim of such a crime.

My point with that comment was just saying there is much worse that could happen to you or your building than someone painting something beautiful on it.

Nothing more, nothing less.


 

Jodi - posted on 09/08/2009

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Jo, and for every insurance claim made, someone has to pay for increased insurance premiums :) I understand that is what insurance is for, but I also know how claims affect premiums. Also, there is generally payment of an excess, so there are out of pocket expenses.



I am not having a hissy fit, so I wouldn't say it is an overreaction. No matter what way you look at it, any sort of illegal act has implications for others, no matter how minor, so it is, in essence, disrespectful to perform the act, and also disrespectful to assume that it is no big deal for the people who are affected. Generally these things are illegal exactly because of the way in which it affects others.

?? - posted on 09/08/2009

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Like I said, I'm not condoning the illegal acts lol and I'm not trivializing the $$, time, emotion that comes from being a victim of such a crime.



My point with that comment was just saying there is much worse that could happen to you or your building than someone painting something beautiful on it.



Nothing more, nothing less.

Sharon - posted on 09/08/2009

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You do realise that a business owners insurance rates go up with almost every claim they make right?

It cost me $2K to repaint my little house - just regular maintainance, but I can't begin to imagine a a large building.

And in some cases its not a matter of repainting. Its restoring stone work. It means blasting off the paint and attempting to restore the stones/bricks to their former weathered/glazed appearance.

Yes I would rather deal with graffitti than being shot, but I'm still going to pissed at the money its going to cost me to restore a building/wall.

?? - posted on 09/08/2009

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Yea... I had thought of that - but when it comes down to it, they're doing something illegal anyways so time and effort and money is always an issue - on both sides of the line, no matter what the crime is.

Lets see - criminal acts - not that I would actually encourage or promote criminal activity or do I condone what they do, but what would I prefer? My child goin out selling drugs, beating people up and possibly ending up dead............ OR......... expressing themselves artistically by painting on a wall......

I think I would much rather deal with the latter.

But then again, I hope I will be able to give my son the means to be able to express himself in an appropriate manner. Some kids though - most kids though do not have that support.

And when it comes to graffiti... your art more often than not doesn't get known well enough to be commissioned to legally be hired to paint a building, without some exposure, and a lot of graffiti artists get that by illegally painting on buildings.

Wasn't intending to be disrespectful - I apologize that you felt offended by stating some realistic points about possible outcomes.... I think you over reacted to what I was saying just a little bit - you also left off the rest of what I said so that it would twist into whatever you felt offended by - "in all reality they would probably get their whole building painted for free out of the whole thing............"

If a business owner is smart they have insurance and they can get the entire building repainted - how do I know that? I know business owners that it has happened too, and they had their entire building repainted - and all costs were reimbursed. Ohh... Ahh... hardcore criminals those vandal graffiti artists are *rolls eyes*

Jodi - posted on 09/08/2009

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Quoting Jo:

the worst that usually comes from graffiti vandalism is the business owner / building owner / property owner will have to get some paint and paint over it



 





That's rather disrespectful.  Has it occurred to you that it costs both time and money to the business owner?  Or is that acceptable? As a business owner myself, I would be really crapped off if I had to fork out money AND my very valuable time to do this because someone decided to paint my building with art without my permission.  To be told that this is the worst it would come to is total lack of respect for the business owners concerns. 



 

?? - posted on 09/08/2009

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The message is in the art not the act - yeesh.



That one single statement can be applied to so many things in law enforcement as well - cops can be just as sneaky as the criminals. Lets reprimand cops for using decieving tactics - what message does it send when the people the general public are supposed to trust use underhanded tactics themselves.



The point is that ART is ART. Beautiful, thought invoking, expressive and realistically - the worst that usually comes from graffiti vandalism is the business owner / building owner / property owner will have to get some paint and paint over it - in all reality they would probably get their whole building painted for free out of the whole thing............



The SAD thing is, is that the beautiful (I'm assuming it would be beautiful and not just tagging crap) artwork that that artist applied to that building - legally or not - will be lost forever.



Pros & Cons - 'looking out for the cops' while breaking the law is not high on the list of cons... lol

Konda - posted on 09/08/2009

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Yeah, 'looking out for the cops' while breaking the law is sending a wonderful message.

Kylie - posted on 09/08/2009

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I love graffiti art! i think if its planned and done by someone with talent and tools.. with permission or not it is still art. its an essential part of big cities...brightens up the boring concrete, gives people something to think about. Honestly I hate tagging and most stenciling (when the stencil is used over and over all over the city) drives me crazy when you see taggers scribble on real art thats taken a lot of time and thought. i know graffiti artist know their work is not forever and it will probably be painted over just seems a pity.
i googled bankys work he seems to be really into stenciling and sort of getting his work up and getting out really quickly..like a tagger? but he always has a message ..it's definitely not mindless. I saw a doco on him and they showed the process of creating his art on these huge stickers in the studio and then the operation of displaying it on a public building without being caught. It was all underground, they go out in the middle of the night in a team..some looking out for cops..it was kinda cool but i can see how his work would inspire young taggers to graffiti the local play ground.

Jeannette - posted on 09/08/2009

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If it is work that is requested, it is art...if you just walk up to a building or a bridge and start painting without permission, it is vandalism. I believe we should respect other people's property even when we think we can improve it. imho

Jodi - posted on 09/08/2009

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Loureen, I love some of this graffiti, and I do consider it art.



However, I have to agree with the others, that if it is done on someone else's property without their permission, it is highly inappropriate. For instance, if someone did it on our business building, we only rent, and a part of the rental agreement is that we must "make good" at the end of the lease period, which would include paying to restore the building to it previous condition........ how do these artists who do it illegally know how they may be affecting the owner or occupant of the property?

?? - posted on 09/08/2009

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Your Banksy links aren't workin for me, Loureen,



Graffitti is a style of art that is no less an art form than abstract, graphic, sculpting, etc...



Art is Art whether it be vibrant colors on the side of a building or a whole basement of pop cans turned into some persons idea of "modern art"



Vandalism is vandalism, whether its artistic expression, political expression, personal expression, etc...

Sharon - posted on 09/08/2009

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I couldn't get the third link to open up.

The first two were amazing.

That said, I wouldn't want someone to come up to my house or place of business and slap up their idea of art on the walls without asking for my permission.

Simple tagging is ugly. Putting your name up on the things other people own and paid for isn't right. I don't want to see your message in graffitti form either. Find a better way to communicate.

But if a homeowner/business owner consents to it - by all means. One of the businesses in tucson has small independent store fronts - they're a floral store - all the walls are painted to look like incredible fantasy gardens. Graffitti style. Its awesome.

Anna - posted on 09/08/2009

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Definetely Art! Although, I agree that there are appropriate places to have this and inappropriate places. I don't think people should be spray painting anywhere without permission, then I think it becomes graffiti.

Charlie - posted on 09/08/2009

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Although Banksy ( if you havent heard of him , google him !! ) has some of the most famous graffiti in the world and majority has been done illegally .
A lot of his work has a strong message behind it and is quiet beautiful .

Konda - posted on 09/08/2009

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I think it is art if you are asked to do it for a business or someone....it is vandalism if you do it on property that does not belong to you and you don't have permission. I do find some of it beautiful, but if you don't own the property, then you shouldn't paint it.

Jocelyn - posted on 09/08/2009

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it's a total art form. in my art classes in high school, there was this one girl who did amazing work, and a bunch of the teachers let her do the classroom walls. she tried to teach me, but omg, i was horrible at it lol. it definitely takes talent.

i love it :)

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