Graffiti: Art or Vandalism? Essay

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Cindy Nguyen Art Introduction G100 July 20, 2011 Graffiti: Art or Vandalism? Not too long ago, I went on a road trip with my close friends and cousins, and on the way I noticed several graffiti painted on trains, homes, freeways, sidewalks, and many other places. Seeing these images of graffiti made me think why they do it? Was it to get fame or attention? Was it for inspiration or the opinion of the mind? Graffiti is a true art with different meanings that involves many styles and risks that can damage the artist physically and socially. Graffiti is an art, not a simple tagging on a trash can or an alley wall but an actual mural that represents meaning in every detail, style, and even every color. Under legalizing graffiti, people shouldn’t judge the artwork because it is a way of expressing what the world is going through; in addition, graffiti artists are unfairly punished when they are not a danger to society. Looking at graffiti, don’t judge it as “bad” especially when you don’t know what it stands for. Obey, for example, is one of the most popular graffiti designs today, but others don’t realize that Obey is a campaign to reawaken a sense of wonder about one’s environment. The Obey campaign attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the campaign and their relationship with their surroundings. They also provoke thought and possible frustration, nevertheless revitalizing the viewer’s perception and attention to detail (Obey Manifesto, par. 1). Another artist that takes the time to paint the expressions of the people’s thoughts of life is Banksy. He is one of the most known graffiti artists whose murals actually make you think of how life is or what the world is going through. One of Banksy’s quote says, “People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish, but that’s only if it’s done properly (The Story Behind Banksy par.6).

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