View Full Version : Graffiti : Art or Vandalism

17-06-2012, 03:37 PM
Personally, I have no idea whether graffiti should be a form of art, vandalism or both. I know nothing about the history etc. So, that's basically why I'm posting this thread, to read what you think.

Therefore, let's debate awayyyy

17-06-2012, 03:43 PM
I think, for the most part, it's vandalism. If someone sprays a name or gang tag on private property they're defacing it!

Even though Banksy and Robbo got their start (and love) in the streets, they have now progressed to artists, as it's being displayed in exhibitions.

17-06-2012, 03:45 PM
Depends on the graffiti itself really. Some can be so amazing that's it art, but is drawn without permission so it is also vandalism. London Embankment has a whole area with loads of graffiti, and it's strangely interesting to look at.

The odd tags and random acts of graffiti do not really serve as art, just to show off territory - that's not really art.

17-06-2012, 03:47 PM
Here in Lisbon you have a lot of amazing street art with cartoon characters or comics, etc. One guy from my school died in December and near my school his friends made a graffiti of his face which is actually pretty good.

So in my opinion, as long as it's civilised and their aim is to create something nice, and not to ruin walls, I think it can be considered a form of art.

17-06-2012, 03:52 PM
It can be one, the other, both, or neither. If it's done on someone else's property without their consent then it's always (under law) vandalism, even if it can be called art as well. If it's on your own property you can't really call it vandalism in a legal sense, even though it might not turn out to be something you'd call art.

20-06-2012, 08:43 PM
Graffiti is vandalism when done in public places without permission or on private property. It's infuriating when someone tags the side of your building downtown, as removal costs around $1,000 - $2,000 depending on the severity. They have no right to spray their tags on others' property unless they have permission. If they have permission and they aren't drawing obscene images, go for it.

20-06-2012, 08:50 PM
I think its vandalism if its put there without someones permission/acceptance but its art otherwise. Then again it could be both- I could pain something amazing on the side of someone's house- in itself it is art but to the homeowner it is (or could be) vandalism.

Obviously people just going around painting their name everywhere is vandalism!

21-06-2012, 01:02 AM
I believe that graffiti is art if its in a place where it's allowed like a special bit of wall or something. But I'd class it as vandalism if it's done up someones house/fence or on a shop, sign etc.

21-06-2012, 06:08 PM
The two are not mutually exclusive. A fantastic piece of graffiti is fantastic whether it be on a legal wall or at the side of the tracks on the back of someone's factory just as a Van Gogh is still a great painting be it in a gallery or hanging above someone's toilet. If you're judging it on its artistic merit as a piece then it shouldn't matter where it is really. Though that much is only true if it doesn't make creative use of its environment. For example there's a huge piece on a derelict building in the centre of Glasgow which spans the entire height of the building. The people who did it utilized the fire escape to do it. But that's a trivial one. In most cases a legal wall looks the exact same as an illegal one and so the finished product will look the exact same.

You also have to consider that art is completely subjective whereas vandalism is black and white. Tags and horrible pieces are an eyesore and would be generally considered as having no merit as art whereas a great piece which someone has spent hours on after days or weeks working on it in a sketchbook looks incredible. Yet on the same wall on private property they are both by definition vandalism.

It doesn't stop being art when it makes the transition from sketch page to brick wall but it does become vandalism at the same time.

21-06-2012, 08:31 PM
If done without permission then ofc it's vandalism: it's a crime. With permission it's whatever it wants to be.

Is it me or are the debates going downhill lol?

21-06-2012, 08:52 PM
Graffiti as a whole is vandalism as it is illegal if done without permission out in streets etc
I think this question is more of "what is art?"
Graffiti can be art but it depends on how people perceive it.

22-06-2012, 06:50 AM
It looks bloody awful and i'm grateful I don't live in an area which it is featured in, as are most of you I have a feeling.

24-06-2012, 04:48 PM
i personally think vandalism because if it was art it would have been put there in the first place, graffiti isn't so therefore it's vandalism as it's effectively ruining a building or something. if they wanted it to be there then they would have put it there when they were building it which is why it is described as vandalism because vandalism means - action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property.

24-06-2012, 05:34 PM
Technically it is vandalism, but a lot of graffiti is really beautiful, so some would also consider it as art.

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