Is Graffiti Art?
Is Graffiti Art?
What is art? The Mirriam-Webster diccionary defines art as “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.” To answer the question “Is graffiti art?”, based on this definition, would be a giant YES! Although graffiti is without a doubt vandalism, since the definition for vandalism is “the willfull or malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property”, it has also become an integral part of todays society.
Graffiti is not as new as one would expect. Some of the earliest “graffiti” known to man are cave paintings found throughout the world. These paintings, painted on the inside of cave walls, were done as early as 30,000 BCE. The illustrations were usually placed in sacred or ceremonial parts of the cave, and the scenes usually revolved around the theme of hunting.
The ancient romans carved graffiti on walls and monuments. Ancient graffiti displayed political rhetoric, declorations of love, and simple words of thought. The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius preserved ancient graffiti in Pompeii, leaving behind curses, spells, magic, quotes, and slogans providing insight to the street life back then. One carving possibly shows the address of a prostitute named Novellia Premigenia of Nuceric, who was apparently very beautiful and who’s services were in high demand. Another inscription shows a phallus with the text “mansueta tene” which can be translated into “handle with care”
Today, the mediums for graffiti could be spray paint, permanent marker, chalk, and stencils, with spray paint being the most popular. Most graffiti shows up overnight on walls, buildings, trains, or whereever the artist feels like their work should be seen. Graffiti artists don’t usually go around tagging peoples houses or cars, unless they have a personal vendetta with that person. Graffiti is not usually done alone. There are usually a group of people that keep an...