8 July 2013
The Behind the Scenes of Graffiti
Graffiti is writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illegally on a wall or other surface in a public place. Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials, law enforcement, and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. In “Graffiti: Taking a Closer Look”, author and former policeman Christopher Grant discusses graffiti as a threat to the community. Graffiti can be viewed as a quality of life issue, and its detractors suggest that the presence of graffiti contributes to a general sense of squalor and a heightened fear of crime. I side with Grant’s view that graffiti has a strong negative influence on property values and lowers the tax base. Yet I do not side on his view of graffiti as a negative influence in art and communication.
I differ with Grant that graffiti is a negative influence to art. Graffiti is revolutionary, in my opinion and any revolution might be considered a crime. People who are oppressed or suppressed need an outlet, so some have chosen to write on walls. Grant claims, “For youths who may not be able to express themselves through other media… graffiti represents an easily accessible and effective way to communicate with large audience” (339). Artists have challenged art by situating it in non-art contexts. Words do not always need to be known in order to form sentences. As an artist myself, I need to express and inspire myself through visualization. I believe what makes it popular is in terms of expression. People express themselves in different ways and it takes a true artist to tie all this together. I am not necessarily claiming that art defines culture, but rather, I am proclaiming the notion that it is visual representation of particular beliefs and attitudes, and quite certainly, is a material display that it has the ability to contribute...