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Graffiti - Art from the Streets

Updated on November 09, 2015

Banksy Artwork

Should the Banksy Artwork taken from a London street be returned to the Community from which it was taken? Did the recent withdrawal of this piece of Artwork from a Miami Auction House set a precedent when it comes to the long debated issue of who actually owns Street Art or Graffiti! Can we now argue that Artwork placed within a Community by Banksy was in fact meant as donation to those who live there!

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A Message

The Artwork of Banksy has always conveyed a message to the people and I doubt that it was ever intended that any one person should profit from it. This beautiful image depicted a young lad hunched over a sewing machine, sewing Union Jack bunting. It was seen by visitors from all over the globe and was a tourist attraction in the London Street where it was painted. There were even street signs put up to help visitors find it! It also brought in much needed revenue to an area where it was sorely needed! Should an individual who never paid a penny for it, be allowed to profit by it? The estimated asking price was said to be in the region of £450,000?

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Graffiti Art

I have long been a fan of graffiti art. As an amateur photographer I have photographed many such images over the years. Some of my fellow photographers argue that the images I take will not win me any prizes! I am not looking to win any prizes. I merely wish to document the Artwork. My feeling is that it is temporary art and as such, is only lent to us for just a short while. Sometimes it deserves to be documented.

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Love Graffiti or Hate it!

You either love Graffiti Art or you hate it. Many people wish that it did not exist at all! All the art shown here in this Hub was painted legally, meaning that the Artists had prior permission from the Landowner to paint on the walls.

The Artists will often drive great distances to paint on the walls. I was fortunate enough to be in the right spot at the right time to see it all happen! Dozens of Artists, all wielding spray cans descended on the site. They arrived in graffiti covered vans and erected scaffolding. The walls were soon covered in paint and in record time! Then, they were gone as quickly as they had come!

For me, it was a thrilling experience to watch this Living Art simply spring up from the walls. I talked with some of the Artists from whom I had sought permission to take these images. Permission was given, on the understanding that I agreed not show the Artists faces! They were a great bunch of people! It does seem a shame that Graffiti and the Artists themselves have earned such bad press.

All of the earlier images I photographed have long since disappeared from the walls. They have all been over-painted. Most of the walls themselves are soon to be demolished. The Artwork and the messages they conveyed are but a distant memory. The area is soon to become a Supermarket.and a parking lot.

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Team building with Graffiti Art!

I believe that Graffiti Art should be encouraged as a career option for youngsters at school. There are a few companies in the UK who employ Artists who also create Graffiti Wall Murals for both large corporations and private individuals. They will also provide Live Art sessions and classes. They also offer Marketing Solutions and Team Building Courses for Corporate Clients. Their Artists will paint anything from your office to your home. The Murals will be expertly painted and can instantly bring life to bland walls. If you are thinking of running a Corporate Training Course, the Artists will travel almost anywhere in the world to help with these. They will teach the Delegates on the course how to paint Graffiti Art. Afterwards, they will let the Delegates loose with spray cans to work on the carefully prepared boards so that the Delegates can create their own pieces of Artwork. What a fun and engaging way to bring together a group of people for a team building exercise! What an ingenious, exciting and creative way to team build!

The artists will help with Advertising campaigns, small or large. They will paint live for Festivals or for large groups of people. Your imagination is the only limit to what they can do!

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Putting Graffiti Art on the School Curriculum!

Personally I would paint some of the walls of high school classrooms with Blackboard paint and provide the children in the class with the opportunity to learn how to do Graffiti Art in chalk on the boards. I have seen some of the most amazing chalk drawings in some of the best liquor shops in Africa. The drawings were all of wild animals. They were stunningly beautiful and these were all created for Advertising Campaigns within the Branches or the stores.

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The lives and Social History as seen through Art

I have also seen wonderful Artwork painted on the walls of Prisons in Africa. This art depicted the lives of people who lived there. As such it provided a real insight into the lives and culture of the people. This served both as an educational tool and a form of expression for the Artists involved. Like Banksy, this teaches us that not only does art provide a message but that it can also helps to teach visitors and local people alike, about some of the social History of people who live there.

Team building with Graffiti Art

There is simply no reason to think that children could not be encouraged to learn how to do Graffiti Art at school. Expert Graffiti Artists could be brought into High Schools to teach the children how to express themselves in this modern way. It would go a long way to help eradicate the offensive Graffiti which can so often be seen as blight on our society and also on the walls of most public toilets etc. Surprisingly I believe this could be a way for teachers to connect with the children. If they study the images created by the children they may learn a lot about the children who created them!

Live art events could be held at schools. These events could be used as fund raisers or even used for team building exercises for the parents, teachers and children alike. This would give the young adults a chance to communicate with their parents on the same level. Screen printing Graffiti Art on T shirts could be taught and used to raise school funds. The skills learned from this will benefit teenagers who may wish to run their own small business enterprise one day! This could help them to fund their own University education with the proceeds.

We need to teach our children in these tough economic times that they cannot always rely on getting employment when they leave school. The truth is that one day they may need to become self employed! If we can help them acquire the necessary skills and confidence at school by using the same techniques described above we must surely be onto a winner! We also need to teach our children that they can no longer ignore the environment and just paint Graffiti anywhere! Part of our children’s education should be to ensure that they are taught to respect the environment. Wall art is here to stay but we need to find a way to make it acceptable to everyone. I believe that one way to do this might be to allow the art to be viewed in designated areas.

Art should never end up being sold for a huge profit by Individuals who seek to profit from someone else’s work without permission, as happened with the Banksy image! This should never be allowed to happen again!

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Is Graffiti Art Something You Would like to Do As a Career?

AND DO YOU THINK THAT GRAFFITI ART SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS?

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    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 15 months ago from Norfolk

      Greensleeves Hubs

      Hi Alun,

      I do agree that this type of art should always be done in a controlled way (except perhaps for Banksy) and would not condone it done in any places without the express permission of the council or the property owner.

      Great use of this type of art could be done in areas which need brightening up, for instance, I once saw some graffiti painted on a prison wall in South Africa. It was continually changed and each artist told a story.

      I do feel it is a great way to connect with the youth who often find it hard to find a positive way of expressing themselves, helping them by providing them with the walls to paint on would be a great start.

      I appreciate your thoughtful comment. Thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts down so eloquently.

      Sally

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 15 months ago from Essex, UK

      Interesting hub Sally. As you appreciate there is clearly a difference between graffiti and graffiti art, and whilst one is a really unpleasant form of expression which drastically lowers the tone of a neighbourhood, the other demonstrates extraordinary talent and - in the case of Banksy and others - sometimes be great fun. Above all, it can have the reverse effect to vandal-type graffiti, and really brighten up a neighbourhood.

      I'm not quite so positive about it as you, or some who have commented before me, because I think even the most artistic work should only be carried out with permission from councils or landowners, and I'm not sure that's always the case today. I also worry about the idea of introducing it as a school subject. I worry that for every one genuine talent which may be discovered, many other less responsible teenagers may have the idea of spray-painting graffiti on to walls put into their heads, with far less creative or attractive effect.

      Therefore, I think it's something which must be approached cautiously, but I do like the hub, and I do find the layout, and the examples of art that you've given, to be very attractive when displayed in the right locations. And there's no doubt that this form of art, when produced by talented individuals, does have its place in public display. Alun

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 17 months ago from Norfolk

      Rabadi

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and to visit this Hub. Thank you for the follow.

    • Rabadi profile image

      17 months ago from New York

      This hub is awesome I love graffiti and think it is a way of art, check out my graffiti hub, great minds think alike and I just hit the follow button :) follow back for a great friend.

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 22 months ago from Norfolk

      Venkatachari M

      I completely agree with you. Graffiti Art can be very beautiful. I appreciate your visit and the vote up and awesome. Thank you very much.

      Sally

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 22 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting and beautiful hub on Graffiti art. You have done a great job by highlighting this art in your hub. This is a very wonderful art and needs to be protected and promoted.

      Voted up and awesome.

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      kevin murphy

      Nice of you to stop by - I hope you enjoyed the images - love Graffiti when becomes an art form and some of these people are such talented artists.

    • kevin murphy-87 profile image

      kevin murphy 2 years ago from Ireland

      Wow. This hub has opened my eyes! Thank you!

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      I am delighted that you enjoyed the concept of my putting people into employment via the graffiti art route. I completely agree with you, our cities could be stunning. Instead we have rows of empty shops and litter. These youngsters are amazing and so too is their talent.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Vicki L Hodges 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      What a neat hub! I love the idea of young people going into graffiti art for self-employment. So many cities and buildings could be beautified. I love these photos. So amazing. So much talent.

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Thank you ocfireflies. I am grateful for your feedback. I love the work of Banksy and will put your recommendation on my wish list of books to read in the near future.

      Best wishes

      Sally

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      sallybea,

      This is a stellar hub with a stellar message. Voted Up Awesome/Shared!

      I learned about Bansky after reading a book by Blue Balliett (YA Author).

      Best Always,

      Kim

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Graffiti is definitely art Vinaya. Banksy is definitely one of my favorite artists. So glad that yoo found the time to explore one of my Hubs too. It is much appreciated. Thank you.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

      I did not know about Banksy until I watched a documentary about Mr. Brian Wash. Now, Banksy is my favorite artist. I believe graffiti is an art.

      Thanks for reading and commenting on my hub.

      Cheers

    • sallybea profile image
      Author

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 years ago from Norfolk

      Vimural - that is wonderful to hear and I am so glad that graffiti art has been instrumental in helping you to get your life back again. In Norwich in the UK we too have a center which holds workshops to teach young people this art form. I am sure they too, will also have some positive outcomes from some of the youth who attend classes there. Thank you so much for your comment. It affirms everything that I believe and I am so grateful you took the time to stop by. Thank you.

    • Vimural profile image

      Vimural 3 years ago from Tucson

      billybuc- Your city is amazing for allowing such acts! Honestly, I believe in beautifying the city with murals. However, I can also agree that a large percentage of street art is illegal and even ugly.

      Sally-Street art honestly saved my life. It allowed me to avoid joining gangs and I realized I had a passion for art. Though I no longer am involved in the acts, I still enjoy writing about it and learning more about the different styles.

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Hello midget, I could not agree more. Thank you so much for visiting my Hub and for taking the time to comment.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, sally, and not to mention that it is a way for them to expend their creativity. Thanks for sharing this...and very lovely images that deserve to be on walls! They need to be appreciated for what they are.

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Billy, I think your council is setting the perfect example by giving the graffiti artists a platform to promote their work. It is a wonderful idea. Paying them to do it, is an even better idea. I am so pleased you enjoyed the article and also the images! Thanks for the follow. it is much appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      In our city of Olympia, the council pays graffit artists to paint old buildings to beautiful the area...I love it. Interesting hub and some great pictures.

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi agusfanani, Some of the Art is amazing and I completely agree with you. Thanks for stopping by.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

      Those graffiti are made with artistic skills and I think they can be considered as art. Looking at those graffiti can be amusing and better than if we only see dead, cold concrete walls.

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      mercuryservices, Great! I am glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the vote and the stumbleupon, I appreciate your taking time to comment.

    • mercuryservices profile image

      Alex Munkachy 4 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Amazing how detailed graffiti art can be. People have been drawing cool stuff on walls since ancient times. Voted up, added to stumbleupon.

    • sallybea profile image
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      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Hi Rebeccamealey, I am delighted that you like the idea of incorporating graffiti into an art curriculum. Thank you so much for the vote and also for the share, I appreciate your comments, best wishes

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Taking something bad like vandalism and turning into a positive is what this is all about. I think it is a great idea to incorporate the techniques of graffiti such as stenciling, etc. into an art curriculum. Voted up and shared all around!

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