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Archive for July 20th, 2010

Graffiti: Art or vandalism? (Or both?)

July 20, 2010 @ 10:00 By: gordon Category: General, Photography

I’m sure you’ve seen it. In fact, you probably see it almost every day, though you may not even register it most of the time.

I’m talking about graffiti.

Graffiti has been around for thousands of years, with some of it persisting to this day. Then, like today, there were discussions and debates as to whether it is art or vandalism.

On my trip to Greece a couple of years ago, I was exploring Nafplio when I came across this slogan spayed on the wall of a building.


But even the graffiti artists couldn’t agree, it seemed, because across the alley was this war of paint between those with stencils and those without:


A little closer to home, I’ve seen tags and more elaborate works of art sprayed on street furniture and other things in the urban environment. Most of it, particularly the tags, gets removed or painted over shortly after it appears.

Map picture

There have been studies that have shown that if you don’t remove a tag within 24 to 48 hours you’re much more likely to be re-visited by taggers.

One piece of graffiti that caught my eye years ago and has survived the anti-graffiti police, the elements and other graffiti artists, is a piece sprayed on a green utility box on Fisher Avenue near Shillington Avenue.