Graffiti As A Public Form Of Expression Essay

1472 Words Dec 8th, 2016 6 Pages
Graffiti is a public form of expression that is often underappreciated and misunderstood, leading it to being viewed as the meaningless and destructive work of delinquents. However, some people can read between the lines and acknowledge the talent and message of the graffiti artist. This divide in understanding and opinion is what makes the graffiti culture unique and influential. The presence and perspective of graffiti in a neighborhood contributes to the ambiance of that area and influences the residents, which could lead to either the gentrification of urban areas or the expansion of the graffiti culture and, possibly, the crime culture. “Graffiti,” used as a general term, is often defined as “an unauthorized act of inscription onto public or private property, and is divided into political, chronological, spatial, social and cultural subcategories that are the result of a range of different motivations” (qtd. in Merrill 370). There are many different types of graffiti, therefore, in his essay “Keeping It Real? Subcultural Graffiti, Street Art, Heritage and Authenticity,” Samuel Merrill borrows the name “subcultural graffiti” to differentiate one specific type of graffiti from street art, political slogans, and the latrinalia of public restrooms (370). Subcultural graffiti, which has been used by many groups and individuals to “establish their identity” and was “an anonymous way to be heard, an act of personal or group empowerment, or a secret language” was influenced…

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