GRAFFITI: ART OR VANDALISM?By Dom, Tom & Forhad
Graffiti: HistoryGraffiti began in Philadelphia, New York between the 60s and 70s. An old jazz musician named yard-bird died in the early 60s, people began to tag bird lives on walls and windows to honour his career as a musician.In its early years graffiti was more vandalism and was used to get messages across to authorities.In New York people began tagging their names/nicknames and their street number on walls, public transport and street signs.It was extremely common that people would tag the subway around New York with their name, the idea was that when the subway moved around new york city it gave the person tagging the train more publicity because the transport moved between each area.Authorities were aware of this vandalism happening to public transport and they took action to remove it, they warned that each time it was painted on it would be removed and if it continued they would stop the train from going out, this eventually stopped them from tagging public transport and they moved back to walls and public places.These graffiti artists now had more time to spray-paint their tags or paint what they like which moved the vandalism into graffiti.In the 1970s graffiti moved from Philadelphia to New York City, around Washington Heights, this is where writers such as Take 183 and Tracy 168 started to gain popularity.
For Graffiti - Political
Can be used to spread messages and thoughts primarily political agenda such as statements against governments, corporations and conglomerates. People can express themselves more openly through art and using the outside allows a lot more people to view it.
Instead of the council having to pay workers to paint or re-design a wall in an area they can pay less to have professional street artists to spray-paint an image onto a wall.
For Graffiti - SocialIf done with permission it can make a run down area/building look better with more colour and images. If it is done by a professional graffiti can be just like art in a gallery, expressive and something that is enjoyable to look at.
Possibly becomes a career choice for some people that do it legally, shop owners sometimes pay to have walls or shutters outside their shops spray painted on and designed to brighten up the store front.
Street art gives a positive outlet for people to send a message or idea with art and voice concerns and frustrations in a constructive manner.
Against Graffiti - SocialBroken window theory, this is the idea that if there is a broken window and no one does anything about it, It is in a deprived area similarly if no one does anything about graffiti then the area becomes known as run down and deprived.
Gate way theory, the gate way theory is that if someone gets away with a small crime such as tagging private property or public transport they will lose the fear of getting caught committing crimes and begin to progress into bigger crimes such as burglary.
Graffiti can be used to portray hate speech or racist symbols that offend people or communities.
For graffitiGraffiti can enhance an area that was originally really plain or an eyesore, an artist can disguise ugly architecture with a bright creative image.An artist that has made use of a run-down building to create their art is in fact using his/her environment to its full potential. It is giving the building of neglect a new purpose Henry Carbank, Stokes croft.
Can be used to spread messages and thoughts primarily political agenda such as statements against governments, corporations and conglomerates.
Graffiti can be used for people to escape from normal day to day life when set against the background of urban city life.
Against Graffiti - PoliticalCosts a lot of money to be removed from property and public transport. Records from 2003 mention that the cost of cleaning up graffiti around London was up to 100m a year which is paid for by tax payers.
Can cause gang turf wars and encourage bad behavior such as violence or vandalism.
Does the end justify the means when people use graffiti to make a point, does the vandalism and damages it causes make it worth it?