Anyone wanna read? it sucks but i don't care
Graffiti is a form of art. The art of graffiti is probably the most common form of art found in the world. Whether it is your “tag”, or a mural on the side of a building, graffiti is present worldwide. Even in our town you can walk around the middle school and find some form of graffiti. But how can you define graffiti? Graffiti starts at the bottom level, the “tag”. A tag is a graffitist’s signature that is usually an alternate alias. It is written so that the reader cannot read it easily. Tags have a flow and style that defines what graffiti is. Graffiti can be anything written on a building or wall.. The next step up for graffiti is usually called a mural. It is a tag, or picture on a larger scale. Instead of plain letters, the word usually takes on a 3D or bolder form. Block or bubble letters are a good example of this. (EXAMPLE) The next step in graffiti, and the rarest is a full scale painting that you would find on an alley wall. These pictures are usually paid for by the land owner, but on occasion you can find one that was done overnight secretly.
Graffiti first got its name from the Roman Empire, when it applied to ‘writing on the wall’. In the late 1960’s political activists first used tags to make statements or mark territory. When the 70’s started, pioneering graffiti artists were writing their names on subways, trains and city walls. New York City was a haven for this graffiti, and it is found wherever you walk around the Big Apple. As artists tried to enlarge their tags, they discovered that the regular aerosol cans could not make the writing to scale. They discovered that highlighting the outlines of their signatures made more notable signatures, and enhanced the look. Soon they adopted other nozzles from different aerosol cans. This was a turning point for graffiti, and these methods are still strongly used in today’s graffiti and art.
Artist Alexis Smith says “…no matter what kind of art you create, it will always be criticized…” This statement could not be more true. From Picasso to street art, there will always be critisism. Of course this is only because there is no true way of defining art. Art can be anything we see, do, or hear. There is no limit to what art can be, which explains how graffiti fits in as art. Art is a form of self-expression, as is graffiti. When you write your tag, or paint a mural, you are expressing yourself. But then people argue that tags are just writing on a wall. This is not the purpose of a tag. A tag exists to express yourself and/or mark your territory. But the problem is the public and the law both cannot see the graffiti as art. They are too simple minded to look into what it’s meaning could be. Whether it is an alias, or a complicated expression of the racism we encounter in public expressed as a mural, there is message or statement trying to be made.
When a graffiti artist sets off to do his work, he is not thinking about the property he is going to destroy, or the people he may anger. The artist is set to express himself, and do it in a manner that everyone can see and hopefully enjoy. The work that is done to annoy others, or discriminate should not be classified as art. A painting of the extermination of the Jews, being highly controversial may not be allowed in a museum. In graffiti’s case, you could express this publicly, and everyone could see it, but it may not be accepted among artists. “Anything can be music, but it doesn't become music until someone wills it to be music, and the audience listening to it decides to percieve it as music. Most people can't deal with that abstraction--or don't want to” - Anonymous. Although the artists know they’re expressing themselves on public or private property, they only want their work to be noticed or enjoyed. They do not want to aggravate the law, or anger the manager of the business whose wall was just tagged.
But as generations change, so do views. These days you can walk around town and find a coffee house with a mural or a whole building covered in graffiti. It attracts attention, and brightens up a place. It appeals to my generation, which shows a stronger passion for rebellion. A coffee house is just a coffee house in looks. But if you walk by a small shop with a large mural spanning the whole building, it will spark curiosity. Business’s actually pay for this to be done on their building. Even Coca-Cola has paid for a mural on the side of a building. It’s free-spirit appeals to people more than a perfect person living in our “perfect society” drinking their cola and smiling with beautiful women. In this sense graffiti is, and will continue to be, a growing aspect of our society.
Graffiti is only graffiti in the eyes of the beholder. What graffiti is, all comes down to how you view it and process it. If you look at a piece of graffiti on the wall, and you do not enjoy it, then you probably see that as damaged property, or in this case vandalism. This is not true to all people. Some people can look at a complicated tag on the wall, and stare at it. They can look deeply into its meaning and what the artist is trying to say about himself through this signature. These views are what separate the battle on graffiti’s position on the art vs. vandalism battle. The problem is, the law and the part of society who have fallen into the stereotype of what the perfect world should be, are the ones who see the vandalism. This majority, and the law are the controllers in our society, so vandalism always wins.