Is Graffiti Art or Vandalism?

Is Graffiti Art or Vandalism?Graffiti are writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted illicitly on a wall or other surface, often within public view.

Graffiti range from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and they have existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.

Graffiti may also express underlying social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles
  • Art
    Vote A
  • Vandalism
    Vote B
  • I don't know/ Other
    Vote C
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
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2319

Most Helpful Girl

  • I mean, it can be both, and it can be neither. Graffiting someone else's property is obviously illegal.

    Imagine you owned a daycare or something and came in one morning and found graffiti on the wall. It doesn't matter how good the peice actually is, it's unwanted, potentially gives clients the wrong impression about your business, and now you're going to have to cover it up or wash it off. It could have been an amazing piece of art, but that doesn't make it magically legal.

    On the other hand, sometimes graffiti is not art. Sure, you could argue that art is subjective, but is some teenager spending 5 seconds to spray a crude word (typically profanity) really art?

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Most Helpful Guy

  • It depends, if it's just a try hard teenager who wants to be a bad boy and show his friends he did it... It is just plain vandalism.
    If it actually contains a message, or creates beauty out of the urban ugliness, then it can be set.
    Sadly, 99% of cases are like the 1st one.

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Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 22

  • Those terms aren't mutually exclusive.
    Just because something is vandalism does not exclude it from also being art.

    However, not all graffiti is art.
    Like, the stuff in the photo from the Askers post - a lot of what you see there is art. There's real time and effort put into it, and there's interesting imagery.
    If I walk up to a wall and spray 'Sarah was here', that doesn't make me Banksy.

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  • Depends where

    If it’s on someone’s house or fence or in the side of a shop yes

    If it’s in an ally and not harming anyone’s property it can be very artistic

    But tagging is just shit wherever it is done

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  • It can be but obviously some things aren't, like just straight up dicks painted on the wall? No. Just names sprayed on also aren't art.

    But there's lots of really cool graffiti that's more impressive than anything I've ever seen displayed in an art museum.

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  • It's art because they're just people expressing their emotions/creativity since they don't know what else to do with it. I honestly think there's nothing wrong with graffiti as long as there aren't any threats or offensive phrases it should be an exception to all communities.

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  • Growing up my daddy taught me that there were two types of graffiti there were the taggers and the peace people
    Taggers just went around weighting there hood name all over the place as much as they can
    But the people who did peaces like my dad did art

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  • I voted art but it really can be both. While there are some hateful messages often spray painted that nobody would consider art there are also the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Or new artists like Reyes and Seak.

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  • Technically it is illegal vandilism, but there are many examples of very beautifully crafted graffiti that's done legally. You just need permission or use a place that isn't being used by anyone.

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  • That picture is art. The random letters and such I see around my neighborhood I would call vandalism.

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  • Does it have to be black or white? Why can't it be both damn.
    It is art but it is also vandalism

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    • Because there are different types one is are the other is not

  • I think it's beautiful to have a change in scenery. Cement walls are boring.

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    • put it on canvas

    • just have a circus as they are all clownes

    • we dont have many cement walls in scotland most buildings are over 100years old we have some graffiti but not much the police take photos of there tags and try to trace the people involved catch them and then take them to court most are aged under 25 years old they get made to clean up the graffiti by the court and so it should be there is a lot of nice graffiti but l dont like to see it on our buildings as l say put it on canvas and then maybe sell it and l would buy some

  • It's art unless it says something racist/sexist/hurtful/etc

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    • But then anyone, especially in todays society, could claim it offends them and it must be taken down. Obviously if it's something like "death to all niggers" thats a bit different, but it's very easy to claim things as sexist or racist these days when they are not. You see this a lot with Femenist Freauency when they talk about games.

    • @_Enigma_ have you broke the law using those words no you have not as it is not aimed at a person

  • I like them if they are looking good. But I'm a little bit disappointed that they have been looking the same way since I am able to think. And I don't like new ones on ancient buildings because it kills their epicness of medieval. So if I am speaking with a graffiti artist right now, I would say do something new like a new topic or a new style or a new message... How about spraiing a forest on a boring wall or a sunrise on a pink wall, so you can use the pink as a sunrise colour... Use the look of your background as something you pit into your sujet, or paint a medieval wall with that beautiful wall bricks on a boring wall... There's so much in this and the most graffitis don't even try to be different than others... Not that I don't like it, I said I like good ones, but it just gets kind of boring...

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  • Some graffiti artists are amazing and do great work, but it’s done on property that’s not theirs!

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  • It vandalism if they did not get permission by the owner but if they did get permission it art

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  • There's a thin line between both

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  • It’s both, and illegal

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  • Unless it's your own wall then it's vandalism.

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  • Both. :)

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  • Art that I don't always appreciate

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  • Art but it should be illegal

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What Guys Said 18

  • It can be seen as art, but it's vandalism. It doesn't matter whether some teenager or adult is expressing their feelings or emotions. It's still vandalism. If you go home and there is graffiti on the wall of your house. You'd most likely get mad, and you're the one who's going to have to get rid of it. There is other ways of expressing your emotions, and you can put it on other things.

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  • Depends on type of graffiti, place where it is done and person it is done by. I love graffiti, but there is so little places to do it legally in my country. Most places i know are private garages, walls owned by people who like graffiti not owned by town or city. If there was enough 'graffiti zones' graffiti will partially vanish from city centres and make more people to call graffiti an art.

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  • It is art. Vandalism only occurs when they do it on someone else's or public property. Thus before they deface other people's things they should instead get a large surface area that is portable and do it on that.

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  • Low quality garbage: Vandalism
    High effort works: Art

    Note: by low quality I mean when people just write a word on the wall.

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    • What you just said the low quality the people who do that are called taggers they do that to get famous
      The people who do the art are called peacers

  • It's art, although sometimes they ruin others property but still, it's amazing.

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  • If it's racist or sexist, it's vandalism

    The rest is art

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  • l hate it it is pure shit on the streets l would put them in jail little shits blot on the landscape

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  • Its both, its art but the medium is property the artist dosnt own.

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  • Why not both (Mexican music starts playing in the background)

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  • It would be at if it was done with permission.

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  • Art.

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    • Well, I mean, by definition, most of the time it's vandalism. But even when it is, it's still art.

  • When it's done well, it's art.

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  • Vandalism

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  • Vandalism

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  • Art...

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  • without permission, it's vandalism no matter how good it looks

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  • depends on if the owner of the building is okay with it or not. like at the skatepark near my house there's a lot of graffiti and it is encouraged, but they better not go to the football stadium over in the next parking lot because then they'd get in trouble

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  • Vote A. It is real art

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