that's a very good question. one that's kind of hard to define, but I think even if the art is vandalism without the property owner's consent, then it is still art. Maybe not legal art, but still art. However, if the graffiti happens to be tagging where gangs mark their territory, then it's definitely vandalism at that point.
Yes on both counts, or rather it can be both or neither, and it's not necessarily anything to do with the technical quality of the media used; it's more about what it represents, the way it makes you feel or think when you look at it.
Graffiti is not art. It's a specific form of writing, using unusual instruments/tools or writing devices.
If someone paints a picture, like what Richie has posted, then it's considered art. Vandalism insinuates that the person put their markings on something that was not their own, but did belong to someone else. Painting a picture on the side of a building isn't vandalism if authorized to do so, by the owner of the property.
A vacant building is still owned by someone, albeit, either the State or an Individual. If it's been tagged with graffiti writing or someone painted a picture on it, without being authorized to do so, then it is vandalism, otherwise it is not.
Some of it's art, and some isn't; but even when it is, since nobody has a right to paint on someone else's property, it's vandalism. If someone painted on something I owned, I wouldn't care if it was the next "Last Supper" - I'd hire someone to return my property to what it was and go after the vandals in court, if possible. "Artists" need to know their isn't going to be saved, so they shouldn't spend their time painting someone else's property.
I believe graffiti can be art, as long as it is not done in such a way as to vandalise another person's property. E.g. when it is commissioned, for the front wall of a business, or as part of an art exhibition, etc.
Graffiti has become an exceptional form of art. When it is used to destroy property, however it is like viewing your least favorite artist's work on display in your own home! Much worse actually! I have tried to spray paint, just spray paint, and I failed at at that. SO to come up with the amazing work some of these artists have it is simply mind blowing!
Obviously tagging is vandalism, but artistic graffiti can actually beautify a burned out building or forgotten wall. I used to take the train to work in downtown Atlanta and along one stretch of the commute was a series of graffiti murals visible only to the passengers. Always made me smile.
Here are a couple of examples from Montevideo, Uruguay in a park adjacent to my former condo building:
Graffiti is absolutely art. Tagging... not so much. Graffiti is like guerrilla social commentary, a revolt in spray paint, or sometimes just very cool whimsical imagery. And there are a few well-known famous graffiti artists like Shepard Fairey and Blek le Rat.
I kind of dig stencil graffiti. Don't really know the artists but have simply looked up images in the search engines. Graffiti has always been a form of reactionary art, like punk, sort of an outcry.
By definition, grafitti is not art. It is grafitti or graffito. Cave drawings are not graffito as they were probably intended to be documentation of a sort or communication. The modern cultural phenomenon known as graffiti was originally crudely scratched or 'sprayed' onto a surface and is intended to be seen in a public place. It has evolved into a form which can certainly be considered art.
Graffiti is a pure language that tells us the stories and about the lives of the cities swarming about us. It lays down boarders and defines hierarchy. It tells you where you can or cannot buy things, it shares the pain and joy of a community. Graffiti screams of loss and worships those who run rogue on the streets, while changing the face of the things we see. It is tangible and it is animated. It is life as seen through eyes of cruelty and tears of lives spent running for something more, or something less. Graffiti is not to be judged, or admired. It is as a book should be; uncensored and not banned. Admire it or hate it, it is both art and crime, in many more ways than we can imagine. ~Always Choose Love~
What I know about the act of graffiti would only fill a single cup. I have watched the cities from the scope of community leadership, that is all. It is the pain behind graffiti I feel passion toward. Truth within an image is as telling as words within a book. Every person has a story to tell, some with a can of toxic waste, some with a keyboard soon to be toxic waste. I am no one to judge on either account, simply viewing both from a perspective of unconditional love. Know that I feel both are beautiful and disgusting in the different light...
K9- for all the art critics out there who worship art that makes less sense and communicates nothing more then the drunken state of the artist, you have made your point but have proved that art can be ignoble. Your justification of the creation of art of that kind makes as much sense as calling Sisyphus a noble immortal rebel with virtuous persistence.
Jaggedfrost, it would seem you have some problem with the concept of life imitating art? It is my deepest intent to be clear, art is in fact all those things you mention, yet you close your grip of judgment around a concept that the pain of community placed on an obscure medium does not qualify as art? Is this because there is not a ticket taker at the door to fill the pockets of those who squander the artist and profit from the art? Is the work these artist place to their medium less hard work, blood fed or obsessive in nature than your graceful ballerina? I dare say, you may find beauty in your definition of art, please allow me to find the beauty in mine. BTW~I have witnessed many a 'drunken state of the artist' who don the frills of the dance. I bid you healing for your harsh words and judgment for those who truly bare the scars of tragedy within their art.
lol sex can be an art, so can poetry. Just to say its art doesn't make it a painting. Artistic subject matter merely requires medium, message, and expression. We call all kinds of things art that aren't strictly Hoyle or belong in a gallery. ballet is art, opera is an art form. Heck political BS has an art to it as well.
You know how much I love to research, guys. I found nine definitions and seven sub-definitions of art. I like this one best: a specific skill requiring the exercise of intuitive faculties that cannot be learned solely by study. I think that covers it all.
lol k9 I don't ask for ticket takers or galleries. Heck I don't even care who gets paid. On the street I pass my poetry out I suppose here with no more care for every word I speak or write then that it be cherished or hated but felt but even then I cant control that either. Some of it is painful verse. You would but have to read it to find that out. Pain sells and is shared all the same... there is some beauty in tragedy. Thats not the point. Drug pushers and lawyers both have jobs and both are in fact scum. I never said Graffiti wasn't hart but as a crime its virtue runs thin to none existent. If you were paying attention, I clamped down on any who judged Graffiti as void of artful claims. I stand by the other supposition in the fact that certain forms should be observed for one's art to command the acclaim its due. Otherwise it is just tossed aside, forgotten, painted over, reused.
Jaggedfrost, hmmmpf...I don't get it, I must not be paying attention. I hope you have a wonderful day and I will have to pop over to see what painful verse you offer up within your work here on hubpages. I imagine your work to be spectacular! ~Always Choose Love~
haha.. i missed alot in this topic... just wanna share that even in north borneo, only certain people can accept graffitti as art.. as for me.. i'm with yes graffitti is aa form of art.. very expressive and full of statement.. thanks
As an individual who believes in private property rights, I would have to answer the question with another question...
Would you consider it to be "art" if you came outside in the morning and discovered it slathered all over the side of your car or your house?
Simply put, no, it's not "art". That's not to say it's not an activity partaken in by some very talented potential artists, but until they choose to utilize a media that actually belongs to them, or at least obtain the property owners permission, it's just vandalism perpetrated by criminals.
This is a question that will always be a hot-topic. Graffiti is obviously and undeniaby art to some, and simply vandalism to others. I live in Maryland, and to help curb, and/or respect graffiti, there are graffiti alleys, that allow artists to explore their craft, admire the work of others, and respect property. To me, it is still art, and their exists a line, that's not so fine of what is and isn't acceptable.