Graffiti is a constant topic of discussion in city hall and town hall meetings. It’s considered a destructive, anti-social, criminal act of vandalism. Many cities cite their steadfast determination to removing graffiti as a key element of reducing crime. How can a little spray paint cause such harm you may ask? Well, if you’re talking about gang tags, scribbles letting you know that ‘Sam Wuz Here’, or swear words, it makes the surroundings you call home feel worth less. I agree to a certain extent, there’s no room for simple tagging, or the spray painting of shit looking faces, and swear words. There is a line though where this ‘criminal activity’ becomes art. I’m not a fan of the simple garbage, because there’s no merit behind it. Drawing a face with a big nose on the side of a building may be an attempt at art, but, is nowhere close to being appealing to look at. I’d rather draw moustaches on magazine faces, or billboard faces. That, at least, has a level of amusement.
The argument can also be made that advertisers cover your city with messages making you feel small, ugly, poor, and worthless, unless you purchase their products. Why not fill the sides of buildings, billboards, and public places/property with street art. That seems to be the mission of Banksy, a semi-anonymous street artist. He’s trotted the globe, leaving his mark in Los Angeles, Boston, Toronto, London, even the wall that stands between Palestine and Israel. He encourages people to print out his images and use them however they like for personal gain, he’s an artist that encourages the artistic expression of his fans, even if it involves his work. Celebrities have purchased his work in the five and six figures. His art has been known to be auctioned off by art houses, but leaving the removal of it up to the winning bidder.