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Graffiti: Art or crime?

Graffiti, art, crime, spray paint, spray, paint, cans, tins

I know, I know, this is a life long argument that goes around in circles and that is EXACTLY why I've decided to write this, cause I like sticking my nose in and sharing my opinions ofc.

So, is graffiti art or crime? 

I personally believe graffiti is art, not a crime. I've spray painted illegally before, only shitty little tags but I was never worried: I never saw it as an act of crime. I know it's technically criminal damage and I never tagged houses or anything cause 1. That's disrespectful and 2. My tags were shit so yanno I wouldn't want that on my house but I don't understand why the police would be worried about someone putting a fake name on an old telephone box or doing a colourful throwie on an old, dirty back alley wall.  I mean, there's been 3 stabbings in my town this month - no one's worried about the potential fucking MURDERERS but you gotta catch them damn graffiti artists lol. I get that you know, if it's someone's personal property and shit yeah fair enough ring the police, whatever but like I know people who've been arrested for graffiti, it doesn't make them stop - it makes them more intelligent. It makes them scout out CCTV cameras and blind spots, it makes them calculate the best times to hit and the quietest places. It makes them realise that rooftop dubs are better than regular street dubs cause they don't get buffed as quick.

What I really don't get though is that you have people like Banksy getting praised and given nationwide news coverage cause he vandalised some school that had just had a refurb then the same people praising people like Banksy are screaming "Arrest all vandals!" , "Graffiti makes me feel unsafe!" and " It's not pretty to look at!." Double standards much? I get if it's shitty little tags plastered everywhere but if it's big vibrant pieces that bring forgotten dingy walls back to life, what's the harm? I really don't see how graffiti can be seen as anything other than an artistic outlet. But you may disagree. You may think graffiti is the devil's work, that it should all be washed off and all graffiti artists should be sentenced to a lifetime in hell. But for me, Graffiti is art, not crime.

Do you think graffiti is art or a crime?

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