Art or Vandalism

So I’ve talked quite a bit about various types of street artist and how mush I love their work, but I forget to think about the legal aspect of it rather than just the creativity. The most typical type of street art is Graffiti. Where I live you don’t see much of it so it’s not really a problem. I was reading an article about the issue, Graffiti, Street Art or Vandalism right away the author stated that they weren’t a fan of this type of art. Part of it was due to the fact that they got bored seeing the same “use of loopy, block letters” on the trains near their home. I can see how this can get boring, I wouldn’t get excited to see an artist’s work if I knew it would just be some other version of the same thing. The only type of letters I see where I live are R.I.P (insert name here), and there is nothing funky or cool about them.

However the author also talks about the things he does appreciate about the art form, such as it’s longevity in our history (even cave men using the technique of painting on walls). Graffiti has been such a big deal in Portland that a group entitled the Portland Graffiti Buster have removed about half a million square feet of graffiti since 1994. The article said that in a Discussion by the Portland Arts & Cultural Alliance it was concluded that “just as weeds are plants growing where you don’t want them, graffiti where it is not wanted is vandalism, while graffiti were it is permitted and designated in street art”. I just don’t understand how someone would know what places are considered appropriate.

On the other hand cities like Portsmouth, New Hampshire celebrated the art form through Street A.k.a Art.  Numerous internationally known street artists were brought together to “create site-specific street art on buildings and bridges around town”.

This seems like an interesting idea, that could solve part of the issue. Sometimes it gets boring seeing the same opaque colored buildings, it would be nice encountering a colorful picture instead. However the only thing around me are houses and restaurants, those places would not be the greatest to paint on. I wouldn’t be too happy to wake up and find my house sprayed with paint. I think having designated parts of a city free for artists to create their pieces would be cool, however it actually working would be whole other thing.


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