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Graffiti/tagging

  

30 members have voted

  1. 1. Is graffiti/tagging an art, a crime, or both?

    • Art
    • Crime
    • Art and Crime
    • Art as long as its on a legal wall


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As the question states, what are your opinions on graffiti and tagging?

Having ran with a paint crew, and painting on my own, I feel that graffiti is an art. You can't deny that painting murals like some of these artists do using a spray can does not require skill. I'm not talking about when someone scrawls a bunch of letters with a spray can or a sharpie. That kind of tagging is just ugly vandalism. So what are yalls thoughts?

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I think the people doing are true artists. It is illegal however. But if done on a legal wall like you mentioned, I think it is great. Definetly takes some talent.

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I think the people doing are true artists. It is illegal however. But if done on a legal wall like you mentioned, I think it is great. Definetly takes some talent.

I agree with Red.

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Let me ask you this. Since it's art, woud you mind if I painted an oversized mural of a naked Fabio on the side wall of your house?

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Let me ask you this. Since it's art, woud you mind if I painted an oversized mural of a naked Fabio on the side wall of your house?

Not really my cup of tea. But I daresay quite the original idea. Plus as mad as it would make the HOA at my condos, I would gladly let you do it. Son I'll let you paint it banner style across the front of my house. Heck i'll even buy you the paint. ;)

I think part of what makes this form of art so unique is the form of expression it takes. I have seen murals of everything from patriotic murals (especially after 911), to urban and cultural murals, to insane multi crew murals that took weeks to complete. I think that part of the attraction to this form of art is the rebellion aspect of it. I mean you paint a wall or train car and you know it isn't going to last. Yet you do it anyway, either for the thrill of being "bad", or simply to try and bring some beauty to the bleak urban landscape. Again I'm not talking about some idiot scrawling letters with a spray can. In no way do I condone the destruction of public or private property, but I dare say it is more visually appealing to see a mural on the back side of building then the nasty ill cared for bricks and trash that usually adorns them.

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Since "art" takes countless forms from just splattering paint on a surface, to making a miniature Taj Mahal from cow dung, from the unrecognizable to something that looks like a photograph, from humanoids with more than two arms or their mouths above their eyes, etc, all have their devotees and detractors.

Art or eyesore, it's all in the eye of the individual. No matter the form it takes, anything that is applied to the property of another without their permission is vandalism, plain and simple. It's not art. You call it art. I'll call it an eyesore, regardless of the "skill" involved.

These taggers, artists, no matter what they say know it's wrong or they wouldn't be doing it under the cover of darkness to avoid getting caught. Taggers, crews, whatever, try to outdo each other. The more brazen the better.

Millions of dollars are spent to either cover up or remove the "art" from property, both public and private. It's wanton disregard for the property of others and the costs involved to undo their handiwork.

Sorry, I'm not buying what you're selling.

When a community or individual has a large surface that's made available to these artists it's all good.

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If it's an actual painting of a picture on a legal wall then I could consider it art. If it's on the side of a building or somewhere else then it's a crime, especially if it's of nothing more than a gang name or other gang related activity.

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I wish I still had the pics but back in high school I had a cavalier(girls car I know) that I had put a body kit on full custom interior the works. How ever I couldn't afford a real paint job so I air brushed some stuff on it and on the hood I airbrushed a brick wall. Well one day hanging out some one mentioned "tagging" it so I bought some spray cans and mega sharpies and said have at it. I would go to car shows and everything leaving the cans on the hood with the sharpies and let people do what ever hey wanted. I won a few shows with this graffiti car everyone loved it it was original and always changing some of he work was insanely good I even had girls writing there numbers all over it. The only downside was the over spray on the windows so I carried a can of goof off and a razor blade.

The graffiti I think is art as long as it's tasteful none of the Swazi crap or pen15 or just gang leters or I love so an so junk. I was lucky no one put any of that on my car there were slot of cartoons and city scenes all over it

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I wish I still had the pics but back in high school I had a cavalier(girls car I know) that I had put a body kit on full custom interior the works. How ever I couldn't afford a real paint job so I air brushed some stuff on it and on the hood I airbrushed a brick wall. Well one day hanging out some one mentioned "tagging" it so I bought some spray cans and mega sharpies and said have at it. I would go to car shows and everything leaving the cans on the hood with the sharpies and let people do what ever hey wanted. I won a few shows with this graffiti car everyone loved it it was original and always changing some of he work was insanely good I even had girls writing there numbers all over it. The only downside was the over spray on the windows so I carried a can of goof off and a razor blade.

The graffiti I think is art as long as it's tasteful none of the Swazi crap or pen15 or just gang leters or I love so an so junk. I was lucky no one put any of that on my car there were slot of cartoons and city scenes all over it

That's great. I don't have a problem that you made an etch-a-sketch out of your car. Sounds like a fun thing to do.

But what I consider to be "tasteful", you might consider to be hideous, or vice versa.

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I voted that it is both. It certainly can be artistic. I agree with Tom , as usual. Whether or not it is art in my opinion or anyone else's does not make any difference. Whether it is Mapplethorpe or Rockwell, if it is done without permission on private property it is a criminal activity. There is no justification for vandalism.

I think the argument that tagging is an attempt to beautify the bleak urban landscape has merit on the surface. Tagging may offer aesthetic improvement when done by a talented "artist." In my opinion that is rarely the case. The bottom line is while it may be pleasing to me, it may be offensive to Tom, and it almost certainly will be offensive to the owner of the property defaced. Spun any way you want, it is crime that ends up costing me, and every other consumer and tax payer money.

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Here is the difference:

Art is art

Gang tags are crime.

Boom. Thread over

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Here is the difference:

Art is art

Gang tags are crime.

Boom. Thread over

Does that mean graffiti that is not gang related is acceptable? Can I just follow my artistic impulse wherever it takes me? Your answer avoids the question, and is too simple in my humble opinion. Premature closure, you might say. :rolleyes:

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Having growing up in predominately Hispanic area....I've seen too many murals of Mexico on walls. While it is art and done legally...it's also an eye sore to me.Which I cannot and will not discuss.

So if done legally,is it art? yes,to some it is.

If it's done Illegally,it goes from art to crime....which it is no longer art anymore.

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i wonder if cavemen got detained for their hieroglyphics. when alien palaeontologists visit earth after human existence, we can't show them anything about us with plain ole blank walls.

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i wonder if cavemen got detained for their hieroglyphics. when alien palaeontologists visit earth after human existence, we can't show them anything about us with plain ole blank walls.

Haha

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Im impressed with the responses my question has gotten. Seems that It all comes down to personal opinion of what an individuals tastes are. That is assuming it is done in a legal and honest manner. It would appear that the art form done in a legal and appropriate place is becoming more accepted in modern society. Maybe that's because the media and advertisers are using it in their ads more and more. I think it is fascinating how much modern societys opinions have changed in a mere 10 years time.

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I'm not sure, but legally painting walls, buildings, or whatever, in any style does not conform to the definition of graffiti or tagging.

"Graffiti (also called Graf) is a form of self expression, and while it is illegal, is NOT vandalism."

I guess like what the meaning of is is, it's also how one defines vandalism. So, let's look at vandalism.

"Definitions of vandalism (n)

van·dal·ism [ vánd'l ìzzəm ] 1.destructive action: the malicious and deliberate defacement or destruction of somebody else's property

Synonyms: disfigurement, mutilation, vandalism, destruction, damage, injury"

So, the above definition of graffiti shows the person who came up with that needs to consult a dictionary, rather than interpreting vandalism to suit themselves, and thus rationalizing their actions.

Sorry, but it's painfully obvious that illegal graffiti is indeed vandalism. In fact, to remove or cover up graffiti is often more expensive than repairing broken windows, or smashed mailboxes.

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I'm not sure, but legally painting walls, buildings, or whatever, in any style does not conform to the definition of graffiti or tagging.

"Graffiti (also called Graf) is a form of self expression, and while it is illegal, is NOT vandalism."

I guess like what the meaning of is is, it's also how one defines vandalism. So, let's look at vandalism.

"Definitions of vandalism (n)

van·dal·ism [ vánd'l ìzzəm ] 1.destructive action: the malicious and deliberate defacement or destruction of somebody else's property

Synonyms: disfigurement, mutilation, vandalism, destruction, damage, injury"

So, the above definition of graffiti shows the person who came up with that needs to consult a dictionary, rather than interpreting vandalism to suit themselves, and thus rationalizing their actions.

Sorry, but it's painfully obvious that illegal graffiti is indeed vandalism. In fact, to remove or cover up graffiti is often more expensive than repairing broken windows, or smashed mailboxes.

I never really gave much thought to the definition before. Seems odd to me it would be classified as illegal but not vandalism. Anyway you are absolutely right about illeagal graffiti being vandalism. If I recall correctly, we used to do it for just that reason. It was a game if you will. A very twisted game but a game to us. The big thing in that underground community was called "tagging the heavens" also "paint and destroy". In tagging the heavens the goal was to put up the biggest, most colorful, and skillfully drawn tag, in the highest place possible. This was where the cru's came in. It's impossible to paint a huge tag by yourself in one night in a public or very visable place. So you have numerous painters join in. Paint and destroy was simply what its called. The person with the most tags, and most property damage wins. The whole purpose was to vandalise everything you could. This was a long long time ago that I partook in this, and we/I paid the consequences for it. You are again correct in that the removal is expensive. Especially when your the one paying to remove it. It's also very tiring. This was also before we discovered what asking and paying for space can provide for you. Amazing things can be done when you do it the legal way. It's also surprising how many people and small business owners will sell/rent you space to paint. We did hundreds of walls all over the place that were legally paid for. We even had some people pay us for what we painted on there walls. (mainly logos and shop names) So yeah I have been on both sides of the graffiti spectrum. From illegal vandalism, to removal and paying restitution, to paying and getting paid to do it.

Oh and in case anyone's interested my cru won at tagging the heavens. We paid 400 dollars to have a homeowner on a mountain overlooking the city let us erect and paint a twenty by thirty plywood and drywall canvass on his his hillside. We also removed it at the end of the month.

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I can dig it. Just not the random crap that some kids with spray paint put up. I have a few documentaries on street art on my Netflix instant queue that touch on the whole graffiti culture. Definitely worth a watch. One of them is "Exit through a oft shop" iirc.

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Why don't we ask the Vancouver Wa. School District. They spent over $80,000.00 cleaning off the illegal artwork from three thoughtful young men. Gang grafitti is paramount to a dog that pees on a tree to mark it's territory. Unless it's planned and done on dedicated property with permission, it's vandalism, plain and simple. A City in Utah provided a wall in a park for " taggers" to display their talents. This was done in hopes to reduce the dmage to private property. The effort was a failure. Taggers are like business people. It's al about location, location, location.

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