Do you consider graffiti, art or vandalism?

I live in a major city where graffiti as art has started to take hold. There is a group that comissions wall space on old or abandoned buildings and creates these huge fantastic pieces, usually spray paint based, that seem to bring a lot of joy, curiosity, respect, love, etc. from onlookers. Contrast that with the non contractual work that springs up all over the city which is just as creative and fantastical, but as a result employs many a city worker who continously remove the spray paint, wall art, wheat paste creations, stickers, etc. Is the line between what is considered art and vandalism, simply money and permission based? If you pay and ask to put something on the wall, is that the line where it crosses from something that is considered vandalism to something that is considered art? Does a piece have to be this big fantastical thing instead of just say a name sprayed on the wall to be art?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • By law to unlawfully using a space on a wall or building that you don't have permission too is vandalism. I agree we have had rogue artist create thing in my city too. Sometimes people (owners) like it and don't mind. Others obviously do not. Most graffiti is just gang tags however so the actual art you get is usually less than 10 percent.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Graffiti is art, for sure. It can look awesome as well. However, if someone does not have permission to create their work somewhere, it's vandalism.

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What Guys Said 6

  • Vandalism. No doubt: our condo has to spend thousands of $ to clean them up and if they aren't cleaned up, the next month there's double the number of that vandlism.

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  • Is graffiti art, yes. Does it look seedy in public places, yes.

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  • Graffiti is art but it is also vandalism.

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  • For me depends how good it is. Most graffiti is vandalism to me because most of it is bad and poor quality.

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    • but the same argument could be made for art you see in a museum. I don't consider someone throwing paint on a canvas art, and yet there it is, worth millions. Something we all did as kids, and anyone with any level of skill could do.

    • Well I agree with you about that. But to me that's not art really either. Lol but then I'm a bit of artistic traditionalist.

  • If you don't have permission, it's vandalism.

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  • Some is truly amazing! Most of it is crap... vandalism.

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    • so essentially if you don't create something that perhaps looks like something specific, you don't consider it art?

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    • meaning if someone took some spray paint and painted squiggles on the wall, you might not say, that's art, but if they spray painted say the city sky line which you could see looked like the skyline, you may think of that as art.

    • Not necessarily. I do like abstract art. However, a lot of graffiti is used to mark territory and deface property. It is not all abstract art... or even intended as art.

What Girls Said 2

  • i consider it art!

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  • Art, most graffiti is an expression of the artist. They just don't use the traditional canvas.

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