Graffiti Artists – social commentators, propaganda artists or vandals?
Graffiti art is becoming an increasingly popular medium for self expression in street culture today. The battle between artists and government entities/ land owners is growing as more and more art emerges in and around the city. But are these artists really vandals? Are they destroying the streets or are they simply expressing themselves using a more public and unconventional medium?
While some graffiti, such as tags, are easily judges as vandalism, the more creative and artistic pieces are a more complicated issue. It is still technically vandalism as it is illegally “destroying” another’s property, but some consider it to be urban art. The line is hazy between plain vandalism and art.
Many graffiti artists believe, just like any artist, that their work is a form of self expression. Whether they are speaking strongly about a topic, giving their view on world issues, or creating a visually stimulating artwork, these artists are passionate about their work.
It is impossible to generalize graffiti artist. Although their work is vandalism, and some individuals make their mark simply to vandalize, many artists are just trying to get their voice heard. They want the world to hear their message and they have found a cheap public way to exercise that. This does not however, give them the right to unleash their creativity on another’s property. The battle will continue.