is graffiti art?

A friend of mine recently shared some photos of the latest graffiti mural by Os Gemeos. I was completely blown away by the colors and characters —  they’re very dream like. As I admired their work, it got me thinking again — is graffiti art?

Having lived in the city my entire life, I’m confronted with graffiti everywhere every day and have had this discussion with many people. Some think it’s a disgusting violation of property and some think it’s an expression of one’s creativity. I fluctuate between the two. The wall behind my house is constantly the victim of graffiti — or  tagging — which is a gang’s way of marking their territory. Here’s an example of one my husband photographed.

To me, this is not art. I can’t even read what it says — and I’m sure that’s the intention. Where’s the creativity?  But as I said, this is definitely tagging and not an expression of one’s creativity. There are some beautiful examples of creative graffiti in the city — unfortunately I don’t have photos of them. Although I do have this photo of a mural I stumbled upon in France. Now this, I consider art.

I might be considered a graffiti snob but I would gladly offer up the side of my house to Os Gemeos to do a mural.

Art is subjective and I think graffiti is too. Do you consider graffiti art?

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2 Responses to “is graffiti art?”

  1. thegraffman Says:

    i been writing graffiti for 23 years and i now teach it. i could talk to you about it at length its a subject that is close to my heart. graffiti is deffinetly an art. os gemeos are not one of my fave artists but they are original i give them that.

  2. themofman Says:

    Aside from Marshall McLuhan’s take on art being anything you can get away with, graffiti is definitely art at times. Such as the examples on thegraffman’s blog. There are examples, however, when graffiti really isn’t art (http://themofman.wordpress.com/down-with-the-taggers/).

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