Graffiti, a service initiated by the city of Paris in the late 18th century, has been used by artists since the dawn of time. It has been used to express one’s feelings, mark their territory, present a political statement, decorate their houses, and even name their kids—all while trying to avoid the police’s wrath.
Considered a part of street art, graffiti is often tried to be removed either by authorities or other local bodies who do not appreciate it. But now they want to try to ban spray paint. This is not just a minor issue, but it’s a huge part of street art.
Graffiti is commonplace in urban areas where it can be seen on streets, walls, and train stations; it is usually seen as a form of vandalism or crime. However, there is a growing trend that people have begun to champion graffiti as an art form, where the goal is not to destroy buildings but to transform them. Writers are creating artistic and informative pieces, but the debate has been ongoing for years: Why is Graffiti So Controversial?
Why is Graffiti Considered Vandalism?
Graffiti is something of a controversial topic in many locations. Some people may be more alarmed by the idea of such a thing than others, but graffiti is not a new art form. It has been around for centuries and was used by some of the most influential artists of the ancient world. It’s a form of ‘vandalism’ that doesn’t seem to be a recent issue, either. The first recorded instance of a “graffiti artist” is believed to be the Ancient Greek artist of the 4th century BC named Lycophron.
Graffiti artists often do not have the intention to vandalize anything—it is considered a form of art. Although, if you put a lot of thought into it, you could argue that graffiti is vandalism, then we’d have to question why it is a crime to vandalize property in the first place.
Graffiti is a medium that is unique in the fact that it is considered “vandalism” in many cities, but because it is not permanent and can be easily removed, it is usually not considered illegal. However, the act of vandalizing public or private property is illegal and has consequences, most notably fines and jail time. This is probably why graffiti is a controversial topic for many.
Is Graffiti Vandalism? The Argument
Graffiti is often associated with “vandalism,” but that is not always the case. Often, the graffiti artist is doing a public service or trying to make a statement of their own. Graffiti is not illegal anywhere in the world, and it is not against the law to create graffiti anywhere, either. However, many countries have laws that make it illegal to deface public property or damage private property such as a wall, a car, or a building. For example, in the United States, you can be charged with vandalism for defacing property not your own or for committing a misdemeanor against a public place.
Graffiti is a form of street art but is not considered to be vandalism because, in their own way, graffiti artists’ paint’ the walls with the same meaning that painters and sculptors do. Why is it that people who try to beautify, influence, and humanize the environment around us, are often branded as vandals who destroy property?
Is Graffiti Harmful to Society?
Graffiti is controversial. It’s been around for thousands of years and is still popular today. It mostly gets a bad rap from the public because it is often associated with vandalism and thus ‘dangerous.’ But is all graffiti really that bad?
Many believe that it is a scourge on society and a threat to people’s quality of life. Others believe that it is an art form that promotes free expression and has brought a lot of artistic growth to cities around the world. The truth, of course, is that graffiti and street art carry a wide range of effects on society and are subject to a wide range of perspectives and opinions.
Graffiti is not just a matter of vandalism or creative expression. Many artists use graffiti to create public murals that depict political or social messages. Some graffiti artists create permanent works of art, while others use it as a tool to express their feelings and thoughts.
Overall, it can be said that every person has a right to their opinion about graffiti, but the question remains—should there be legal action against those who practice graffiti as an art form? Much of the population seems to take pleasure in the various forms of street art in cities today, but there is still a section that detests it. This really seems to be a topic without any defined black-and-white answer, and may remain as abstract as graffiti itself.