Graffiti, Art or Vandalism?
From Friday's Spec. What's your opinion is graffiti public art, or vandalism? Does it add to the cities fabric, or is it just an eyesore? Raging against the establishment, or just a bunch of punks? What do you think?
July 24, 2008
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jul 24, 2008)
Spray-painting trains, tagging bus stops and defacing every available surface: It's all a part of a world that exists right underneath our noses. Hamilton's "graffiti writers" venture out day and night to spread their names, but why? Why do these individuals risk their lives to hang from buildings, climb billboards and break into train yards to draw a word that most Hamiltonians cannot read?
Is graffiti art or vandalism? Last I checked, vandalism was an intentionally targeted act of destruction to personal or public property. How can one believe that graffiti is vandalism when it's turning our bustling city into an open-exhibit art gallery? Society allows money-sucking corporations to post their ads, yet we punish individuals who bring colour to the walls of Hamilton?
Surfacing artwork is rarely accepted in its own time, and it is not usually until a more open-minded generation arrives that we appreciate the uniqueness and creativity of each piece and those who created them. Graffiti will not be stopped. It will never be found hanging from the walls of a museum. We as artists are expressing ourselves. The city of Hamilton is our canvas.
The jobs, stupid!