Graffiti is a hotly debated topic and has been for years. Is it vandalism, or is it art? The answer to that question varies, depending on who you ask. With that in mind, the following post will examine whether graffiti is an art form to be admired and respected or simply an act of vandalism committed by criminals.
Of course, there isn’t a clear-cut answer – as with everything related to crime and, indeed, to art. Still, if you dislike graffiti, our mosquito device could help prevent that problem on your property. Whatever the case, whether you love it or hate it, it is time to categorize graffiti: is it art? Or vandalism?
What is graffiti?
Firstly, what is graffiti? Graffiti is a form of street art – it is when someone chooses to create an image or write a message in an outdoor space. Graffiti art can be incredibly wide-ranging in topic and style, but graffiti artists often use spray paint since it is quick to use and lasts longer than something like chalk. Generally, they might use public or private blank walls to make a social or political statement about the times in which people are currently living.
While graffiti is a form of art for many, it is vandalism to some. But what remains the same is that it goes back thousands of years. As part of the Grand Tour in the 18th century, wealthy young men from Europe carved their names into Greek and Roman monuments; even the walls of Pompeii are lined with fan messages to their favorite gladiators and the scribblings or people calling out local officials for corruption. As long as society has existed, people have scrawled on walls – and it’s no different today.
Is it art?
Clearly, whether graffiti is considered art or vandalism depends on the viewer, public perception, and the person creating it. Many people who make graffiti would class themselves as artists expressing an opinion, emotion, or thought – as any other artist would. They are simply using public spaces as their canvas. Property owners who want to keep their possessions and premises looking a certain way or who have a customer market deterred by seeing unusual images or lettering would consider it vandalism – to be prevented and punished at all costs.
Public perception also weighs heavily; if the public and the person creating the graffiti believe the creator is indeed an artist, their work will likely be considered art. It can even lead to the protection of the graffitist’s work, wherein the property owner cannot remove it, or even the case that the building’s proprietor suddenly owns an expensive piece of artwork.
As graffiti artists generally focus on social problems, their work might be deemed vandalism but is often desired by the public. Consider the people who draw rude images around potholes in the road to force authorities to fix them or even the cases where pressure washers have been used to write messages or draw on filthy walls – forcing them to be appropriately cleaned. However, graffiti on other works of art or painted on similar items or places of public property are always considered acts of vandalism and have little public sympathy.
What can you do to avoid vandalism?
Images and words on buildings are generally seen as less of a problem than the actual physical destruction of property. However, depending on the type and the amount of visible graffiti, it can lead to a less pleasant atmosphere in the area and make a building look unkempt. Plus, it can be difficult to remove; spray paint doesn’t wash off easily.
If your property or business is suffering from a high level of vandalism, you could consider trying our mosquito device for vandalism, which deters people from loitering within the area and is more likely to make them move on to linger elsewhere.