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Graffiti: Self Expression for the Masses
Having evolved as a part of hip-hop culture, graffiti has traditionally been considered ghetto or low class. In fact, it is often looked down upon and classified as vandalism. Historically, gangs marked their territory by using graffiti, and as a result, the public has developed a negative opinion about it. However, because of this mask that surrounds the original intent of this art form, people fail to understand that it is a way to express opinions regarding social and political issues. Creating graffiti purposely as an art form would allow for a more open and visible expression of beliefs, which would create a more understanding environment that recognizes the values and opinions held by the common people.
People appreciate the beauty of mosaics and recognize the artists as people who have contributed to the world’s aesthetic. In contrast, graffiti seemingly only hurts the world’s aesthetic. By being anonymous and often about negative things, graffiti artists have given the art form a poor reputation. Given the chance to recreate this element of art, graffiti artists should approach it as early mosaic artists did; by either receiving a contract or by spray-painting about social and political issues in a more controlled environment (i.e. not on random buildings they do not have permission to paint on).
Graffiti has the potential to serve as a voice for this generation. It is a part of the hip and trendy culture that is predominant in today’s era, and as a result easily captures attention. Also, it is a more accessible form of art in the sense that it can be displayed anywhere, given permission. It has the power to influence many people and enhance their opinions and views of the world around. This recreated art form can change the way people are impacted and put the power of the media in the hands of the public.