Is Graffiti Art or Vandalism?
- Graffiti News

Is Graffiti Art or Vandalism?

The Perspective of Graffiti in Society

The most raging debate about street art always has been, is graffiti art or vandalism? In many parts of the world, especially those who do not understand its nature, graffiti is considered vandalism. But, what if it’s just a misconception of the real artist meaning?

Graffiti Art Melbourne

Reasons Why Graffiti is Art

Serious artists use graffiti as a form of genuine expression. They help start important conversations about social, political and environmental issues. Often, graffiti creators and artist use public spaces to express themselves, which rouses the issue of vandalism.

There is always a thin line between graffiti as art or vandalism. When graffiti is done in a public space, where other people find it unsightly or offensive, then it is considered as vandalism.

That may not take away the message intended by the creator because once the public has seen the art behind and drawn attention to it, the creator’s intention is fulfilled.

Graffiti Art Kattoomba - 3 pieces

On the other hand, graffiti artists have also often created their art on private property, especially when raising awareness on issues such as unfair employment or operational practices. Regardless of the message, such art is intended to pass; it is purely vandalism when done on unauthorized private property.


Not All Graffiti is Vandalism

The graffiti art culture is increasingly being accepted in many cities around the world. However, some society players still can’t answer the question, is graffiti art or vandalism? In many cases, graffiti could be vulgar, crude and can be considered nothing but pure vandalism.

The aspect of graffiti as an underground art culture, that is intended to pass on messages of dissatisfaction, anger, retaliation and warnings to people such as politicians, gangs and employers, not always have the right perspective.

Is Graffiti Art or Vandalism?
Source: Avondale Art Park. Clear example of graffiti art being vandalized

But, not all graffiti is vandalism. As the art culture continues to grow and thrive, graffiti has certainly found its space in today’s world. There are world-renowned graffiti artists who find legal space to express their art and pass meaningful messages.

Having recognized the force of graffiti as an art, many cities have embraced it by giving artists legal space to create their art. A great example is what Avondale Art Park has done in order to embrace this concept (check here what graffiti artists in Auckland, New Zealand have done).


How to Turn Graffiti Into a Piece of Art

Graffiti artists have the responsibility to create art that carries meaningful messages and avoid offensive art that is nothing but vandalism.

Passionate graffiti artists should realize that scouting for the right space for their art is part of the accountability process. If you hope to make a difference by sparking important conversations through art, the best way is to do it legally (check here the implications of not doing it so).

Graffiti artists can always seek permission to use public or private spaces.

Graffiti on Rolling Door - Bay10

Although, some people will be out rightly opposed to graffiti, there are certainly those who appreciate this type of art and would gladly allow you to paint their walls with graffiti.

Obviously, the right graffiti art should be devoid of any offensive messages. Artists should use any graffiti space provided to create value and reflection, provoking art that adds value to our streets.


Acknowledgement from Public that Legal Graffiti as Art

Authorities in our cities need to acknowledge that graffiti is a form of expression, and is here to stay.

The best way to accommodate graffiti artists is to allow them legal space on the streets to create their art. Restricting such expressions is what ultimately leads to cases of vandalism by graffiti creators in the wee hours of the night when no one is watching.

Graffiti Art Katoomba

Is graffiti art or vandalism? It is both depending on how the graffiti is done and it would be best if all artists used the right channels to make it purely art and never vandalism.