Graffiti vs Street Art
Most of us would get confused between graffiti and street art if we were to define these two concepts. With graffiti increasingly being labeled as vandalism and destructing or damaging public property, there is a debate raging between authorities and art lovers as to whether graffiti is an art form or not. While graffiti was earlier viewed as an art form, it is under attack from the authorities responsible for the upkeep and cleaning of buildings and structures. This article takes a closer look at the situation to find out if graffiti and street art are indeed different or not.
Writings or scribbling on walls and scratching or spraying to create something legible so as to look attractive is referred to as graffiti. A child scribbling on the walls of his home is not called graffiti, and it is only the writings and drawings on walls in the public domain are called graffiti. These can range from a few words such as a slogan to detailed paintings done by artists.
Of late, graffiti are made mainly using marker pens and spray guns using paints. If such drawing has been made without obtaining the permission of the owner of the building, it is termed as vandalism.
We all know what art is and have been to art galleries to view and appreciate the works of great artists of the past, whether they are oil paintings on canvas or wall murals. As long as art remains inside it is simply art but when it takes the form of visual art done on streets, it becomes street art.
Street art is a broad term that includes many different art forms, and graffiti is certainly a type of street art. Poster art and sticker art is also referred to as street art forms.
There are many who feel that graffiti is a great art form that allows people with talent to showcase it in public view. It is also considered an artistic way to vent one’s feelings to the public or the authorities. There is a very thin dividing line between graffiti and vandalism which involves desecration or destruction of public or private property. In the eyes of the civic authorities, graffiti is nothing but vandalism. It is, therefore, hard to tell if and when graffiti becomes vandalism.
Of course, a kid picking up a spray gun and writing a few words or drawing a picture on a public wall is vandalism. However, when an artist uses his talent and creativity to turn an ordinary wall into a large canvas and creates a masterpiece of art, it is certainly not vandalism but rather an art form called street art.
For all those who do not understand art, graffiti is always desecration of public property. However, to those who can appreciate the nuances of art, graffiti is a kind of street art that only broadens the horizons of art forms, and it is wrong to kill graffiti, crying foul and calling it vandalism. Graffiti is the voice of the artists that spills over walls and creates artistic objects.