Is graffiti art?

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  1. Stevennix2001 profile image84
    Stevennix2001posted 13 years ago

    Well is it art?  Or an act of vandalism?

    1. profile image0
      Pani Midnyte Odinposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      It can be. If the person had permission to do graffiti, it is art. If a person does it without permission to someone else's property, it's vandalism.

      1. thetru1 profile image60
        thetru1posted 12 years agoin reply to this

        what if the so called vandalisim is beautiful

        1. Stevennix2001 profile image84
          Stevennix2001posted 12 years agoin reply to this

          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.

    2. waynet profile image68
      waynetposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I see it as art if the design looks good, but if it's just someones tag that is a word or phrase that looks poop, then it's vandalism.

      I like the large graffiti spray paintings that have a central design that shines and that can be called art!

    3. Rayalternately profile image60
      Rayalternatelyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      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.

    4. Bredavies profile image61
      Bredaviesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I think it is a form of expression but people should watch where they express themselves and when

    5. profile image0
      Justine76posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      both. artistic vandalism. I like grafiti, but technically...its against the law

    6. nikki1 profile image60
      nikki1posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      In my opinion definitely vandalism, now if they have permission to spray art on a wall thats a different story.

    7. IdeaMorphist profile image61
      IdeaMorphistposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Depends on the artist and location...

    8. Marisa Wright profile image89
      Marisa Wrightposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Most graffiti in Sydney is just tagging, which is ugly. It's not art by any stretch of the imagination.

      I do like murals, even if they're painted illegally on walls.  What I really hate is when graffiti "artists" spray their tags on wall murals and ruin them.

    9. charmaine101 profile image61
      charmaine101posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      It's art in it's own way! It's the streets telling us a story, I think it's quite beautiful but depending on some graffiti can be down right vandalism.

    10. Haunty profile image76
      Hauntyposted 12 years agoin reply to this


    11. profile image0
      Charlinexposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Some are, some not.

    12. Cagsil profile image75
      Cagsilposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      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.

    13. qwark profile image61
      qwarkposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      ..I've seen some of that "vandalism" I'd def refer to as art!
      Too bad some of these really talented guys and girls can't take that talent and use it to amaze everyone!

  2. Isabelle22 profile image60
    Isabelle22posted 13 years ago

    I guess it depends on how it is used. I have seen some awesome graffit. smile

  3. Ohma profile image60
    Ohmaposted 13 years ago

    Some of the graffiti you see is very inspired, and done by some amazingly talented people but the choice of where they put it and how they put their talent to use is really very sad.

  4. profile image0
    lynnechandlerposted 13 years ago

    I've seen some incredible stuff done to streets, old buildings etc so I think if you are painting a picture then yeah it can be art but if you are just spray painting to mark your territory it isn't.

  5. Richieb799 profile image65
    Richieb799posted 13 years ago's a quick picture I took of some graf on a shop in our city

    1. Isabelle22 profile image60
      Isabelle22posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      It's amazing.

    2. Bredavies profile image61
      Bredaviesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thats art

  6. rembrandz profile image80
    rembrandzposted 13 years ago

    Done in a proper way and legally. It is art. But I wish I could learn more about real good Grafitti art as I never grew up in cities with that culture.

  7. theirishobserver. profile image61
    theirishobserver.posted 13 years ago

    I haev seen some fantastic graffetti art - I haev also seen some graffetti that is pure vandalism - the good stuff is good in the right place the bad stuff is never good smile

    1. profile image0
      sophsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I second this! smile

  8. Lisa HW profile image60
    Lisa HWposted 13 years ago

    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.

  9. sasanqua profile image80
    sasanquaposted 13 years ago

    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.

  10. Miss Chriss profile image59
    Miss Chrissposted 13 years ago

    Graffiti is absolutely considered art. However, some people confuse 'tagging' with graffiti. It's an entirely different thing.

  11. profile image0
    Rachel B.posted 13 years ago

    It really can be both. I've seen some absolutely wonderful pieces of art on buildings that were technically graffiti. It's too bad that artistic talent is spent on something illegal.

  12. Sufidreamer profile image79
    Sufidreamerposted 13 years ago

    I love graffiti art - there is some real talent working the streets.

    In terms of the non-artistic stuff, some graffiti is not seen as vandalism in Greece - political graffiti and slogans are a long-standing part of the culture! smile

    On the other hand, there are the crudely drawn pictures of genitals...

  13. Ann Nonymous profile image60
    Ann Nonymousposted 13 years ago

    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!

  14. kephrira profile image59
    kephriraposted 12 years ago

    I like good grafiti a lot better than anything that has ever won the Turner prize.

  15. lindacee profile image89
    lindaceeposted 12 years ago

    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:

  16. Lexe Charleston profile image54
    Lexe Charlestonposted 12 years ago

    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.

  17. Stacie L profile image89
    Stacie Lposted 12 years ago

    graffiti goes back to the cave people....they drew pictures on walls first! wink

  18. couturepopcafe profile image60
    couturepopcafeposted 12 years ago

    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.

  19. K9keystrokes profile image87
    K9keystrokesposted 12 years ago

    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~

    1. couturepopcafe profile image60
      couturepopcafeposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      K9 - Sounds like you have quite a bit of first-hand knowledge on the subject if I'm any judge of writing.  Passion speaks volumes.

      1. K9keystrokes profile image87
        K9keystrokesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        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...

  20. Jaggedfrost profile image60
    Jaggedfrostposted 12 years ago

    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.

    1. K9keystrokes profile image87
      K9keystrokesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      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.

  21. Jaggedfrost profile image60
    Jaggedfrostposted 12 years ago

    what a brilliant equivocation.

  22. Jaggedfrost profile image60
    Jaggedfrostposted 12 years ago

    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.

    1. Cagsil profile image75
      Cagsilposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      A prime example of why "art" is misunderstood. lol

  23. Jaggedfrost profile image60
    Jaggedfrostposted 12 years ago

    so what you are doing is begging someone to break out a dictionary post or encyclopedia entry

    1. Cagsil profile image75
      Cagsilposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Hey JaggedFrost, you can pull out whatever book you want to define it, it will only be subjective to an individual perspective, just like "art" has been throughout the ages.

      So please. Art is defined however one person chooses to define it. Which is why art is art to one person and not for another.

      1. qwark profile image61
        qwarkposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Thumbs up Cags! Right on the money!

  24. Jaggedfrost profile image60
    Jaggedfrostposted 12 years ago

    lol so you are admitting that graffiti is art.  You are only saying you don't like it.

    1. Cagsil profile image75
      Cagsilposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Not at all. And, I did not say that I didn't like. I suggest you read my post more carefully and please try to not "read" anything into it....just read the words. It might be helpful.

  25. Jaggedfrost profile image60
    Jaggedfrostposted 12 years ago

    What are words, if not the thoughts behind them. 

    "Graffiti is not art. It's a specific form of writing, using unusual instruments/tools or writing devices."

    If you want to be philosophical fine.  You have a point.  If you want to be literal and put your foot down, then reading into your posts is all the world can do to make some sense out of the assertions.

    1. Cagsil profile image75
      Cagsilposted 12 years agoin reply to this


  26. couturepopcafe profile image60
    couturepopcafeposted 12 years ago

    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.

  27. Jaggedfrost profile image60
    Jaggedfrostposted 12 years ago

    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.

    1. K9keystrokes profile image87
      K9keystrokesposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Jaggedfrost, hmmmpf...I don't get it, I must not be paying attention. wink
      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~

  28. blabak profile image59
    blabakposted 12 years ago

    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

  29. katrinasui profile image41
    katrinasuiposted 12 years ago

    It depend son the artist and location.

  30. Disturbia profile image60
    Disturbiaposted 12 years ago

    Are petroglyphs and prehistoric cave paintings graffiti?

    Yes graffiti is art.

  31. shynsly profile image61
    shynslyposted 12 years ago

    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.

  32. Midnight Oil profile image84
    Midnight Oilposted 12 years ago

    It's art on a raw canvas.  Some of the work is superb.

    Graffiti at its best - check out Banksy

  33. Internetwriter62 profile image76
    Internetwriter62posted 12 years ago

    It depends if you do your graffiti on private property it is vandalism, if you do it as part of a community project and you have permission to do so then it is art.

  34. Bellamie profile image61
    Bellamieposted 12 years ago

    Of course it's vandalism if no permission was granted or if its not the artists own property., but regardless of where it is done it is usually some great artwork.

  35. mattbull220 profile image57
    mattbull220posted 12 years ago

    Graffitti is art, unless you go somewhere and do it where your obviously not then it becomes vandalism

  36. imatellmuva profile image79
    imatellmuvaposted 12 years ago

    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.

  37. Morrison1 profile image39
    Morrison1posted 12 years ago

    NO it is not art . and its dam ugle

  38. sunforged profile image72
    sunforgedposted 12 years ago

    Its always art.

    Sometimes its also vandalism

  39. David Warren profile image85
    David Warrenposted 12 years ago

    I will never consider gang members or wanna be gang members "tagging" as art. However graffiti is definitely art.

    1. sunforged profile image72
      sunforgedposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Is Calligraphy art?

      it may not be particularly beautiful or technically competent, its art nonetheless

      Id put it on par with Pre-K fingerpainting projects

  40. prettydarkhorse profile image58
    prettydarkhorseposted 12 years ago

    street art yes. but could be used to deface a wall


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