Controversial Street Art

The Controversy of Street Art! Graffiti, Vandalism or Public Art?

Artisans Gallery Street Graffiti

In our yesteryears street art was solely considered as vandalism in the form of graffiti. However, street art has presently gone mainstream and numerous collectors, auctioneers, and museum directors alike are frantically making efforts to learn who street artists are, what their work means, and their unique lingo. Below the you find an outline of the current state of street art and all the information you need to stay in the know.

Street art can not truly be defined no matter how much we would like it to be due to all the blurred lines around the specific form of art. Some street art is legal and commissioned, while other pieces are created illegally. Several pieces of street art carry an anti-capitalist undertone with a rebellious quality. Street art can also be a democratic way of displaying public art that sends a message. However, it is not easily collected, possessed, or turned in a trophy due to its ever changing locations. As street art is sometimes viewed as a nuisance, it mostly seen as a platform for artists to communicate their political views and concerns. Street art can not carry a definition as it is constantly being utilized differently, in some cases even as city beautification. No matter what you define street art as graffiti, vandalism, or public art - the world is beginning to take extreme interest in the street art movement.

Graffiti and street art are not one in the same. While graffiti may be known as a form of vandalism, street art is not. The expressive murals created by street artists are most often preserved and shown as exhibitions and graffiti can not be spoken for in the same manner. Although, the line between legal and illegal street art is quite hazy. While some street artists are granted permission not all are treated equally. Additionally, the masses tend to lean towards the forms of street art known as yarn bombing and street installation as they are non destructive forms of street art.

When an artist is granted permission to create a mural, painting, or sculpture, the piece can legally fall into the category of street art. However, when a mural, painting, or sculpture is created illegally on public or private property the art is known as vandalism and the artist is classified as a criminal. The masses do not always agree with the law and still glorify many illegal works of street art. It is extremely difficult to clearly define which pieces of art acceptable and which are not as each person observes the bodies of work differently and draw their own conclusions. Plus, unless the artist is caught in the act, they are not a certified criminal.

By definition Vandalism is destruction of public or private property and will result in negative repercussions. Criminologists have studied how negativity can inherently cause a snowball effect within cities. For example, if one urban city has a broken window and it is ignored, graffiti seems to be welcome here. Soon after much more damage tends to appear in this same area as well as violence and it all begins with a neglected broken window. Thus, giving you a small understanding of the snowball effect. Researchers have concluded that there is a direct connection between the decline of society, vandalism and street violence. In conclusion, the 'Broken Window Theory' was created and in 1982 literature was published regarding the theory’s explanation. In short, the literature argues that neglect breeds crime inevitably, whether thoughtless or with intent. Unfortunately, graffiti is largely linked to this connection and is giving street art a bad reputation.

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