Vandalism: The Social And Social Connotation Of Graffiti?

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The term “graffiti” holds a negative connotation of vandalism to the state, yet for the people who practice it there are underlying social and political messages within this art form. While the government considers itself an entity that promotes social responsibility, by stigmatizing graffiti, it limits the artistic rights of its citizens. Each generation overrides the previous art placed in public spaces, graffiti becomes layers of artistic change, reflecting each new community it represents. Graffiti itself has existed since prehistoric times and has been able to give us insight into more recent cultures and civilizations as well. While many graffiti artists can act in solidarity, for example in the form of a gang, many artists act on their …show more content…
The earliest forms of graffiti can be traced back to prehistoric times in cave painting. Looking back to that era, people were not privileged with the tools and canvas that many artists today use, and there are several theories that cave paintings had religious connotations, that drawing people was taboo, and that depicted figures held a sort of magic. The idea that the use of symbolism is one of the traits that sets us apart from other animal species can be traced all the way back to a faint red dot on a cave wall that is said to be 40,000 years old. Joao Zilhao, a research professor at ICREA, University of Barcelona, believes that Neanderthals produced these motifs, meaning that the oldest form of graffiti can be traced back to almost 40,000 years ago. Graffiti and cave painting themselves are similar in multiple ways. Cave paintings are said to communicate valuable insight into the culture and beliefs of their era, just as modern day graffiti art lends similar insights to modern day life. You can see through this type of art the evolution of each era, with the constant changes and improvements of even the tools that graffiti artists use to create their work. This becomes the significant difference between modern day graffiti and cave painting, since the tools they use and the accessibility to this equipment is continuously improving through each passing generation. …show more content…
While they may seem to have the same connotation, they are two very different forms of expression. In an article written by Ashley Davis, a graduate student from the Herron School of Art and Design, she says graffiti “limits an individual to what he or she can do with a spray can, on the spot” while street art employs some of the application techniques of graffiti, however it “often involves a finished product that is ready-made and brought to the location -think stickers, wheat paste prints, and stencils”. Street art itself has adopted its practices from graffitists however they are more formally trained and arrived prepared at their location to do their work. Because of this preparation beforehand, a street artist’s message is often more developed than in graffiti. Although they have significant differences, neither one is considered more culturally valid than the other. Both types still risk legal punishment for the way they are spreading their messages, but in that same context they are both still very powerful forms of art and very creative ways of sending a message across to the public. In an article titled “The Syrian Satirist Making Graffiti in Solidarity with Charlie Hebdo” he says “Graffiti is key, because with graffiti, you have broken the wall, broken the wall inside people’s minds, because people are scared of the wall. They tell you “shhh.. The walls have ears. Don’t say

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