Graffiti: Art or Vandalism

1899 words 8 pages
Graffiti: Art or Vandalism?
Sam Cowey

Graffiti has been around for more than half a decade and practiced worldwide. However there is debate between whether it is a form of art or vandalism. Graffiti artists’ debate that many do not understand the reason most graffiti artist take the risk of incarceration, fines, injuries, and in some cases death to paint a wall. A graffiti artist can have the simple desire to become recognized, or to create a piece that speaks to their audience as a form of self expression. Because graffiti is associated with gangs and acts of destruction to some many cannot see the history and importance graffiti can have on a worldwide scale. Due to the fact that graffiti is usually produced illegally, meaning it is
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In other words, the general population believes that if you participate in graffiti you are a criminal; most likely a troubled teenager and you deserve to be punished.
What are the outcomes of graffiti? The War on Graffiti has been going on for years. Laws have even been created, like one passed in May of 85’ described in the New York Times article Efforts Grow to Combat Graffiti, to make sale of spray paint illegal to minors in New York as a combatant to stop reckless kids from defacing public property. Not only has law enforcement cracked down on graffiti writers but in a New York Times article by Thomas J. Lueck in 2006, he explains how transit officials plan to spend 25 million dollars to replace windows in 5,000 cars. The new glass is coated with mylar, polyester that can be peeled off and replaced when damaged. The fight on graffiti is still raging on however; a New York Times article refers to graffiti artists as “Hit and run guerillas who enjoy playing cat and mouse with the police and revel in their rebel image. (P 6) Not only is graffiti removal and prevention a part of a large budget and on going battle but also many citizens complain that graffiti is an eye sore. Scribbles can be found all around New York that make the surrounding environment seem poor making graffiti a quality of life issue. Not only do police combat graffiti but some citizens do too. Richard Fedor explains in the same New York Times

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