Graffiti is something that is regarded as an art form for some, but is also regarded by members of the general public as a nuisance, often associated with anti-social behaviour and gang culture
The first modern graffiti writer is widely considered to be Cornbread, a high school student from Philadelphia, who in 1967 started tagging city walls to get the attention of a girl. But it was only in the 1980s that galleries began to showcase graffiti as artwork.
Then in New York in the 1980’s graffiti caught the eye of the art elite. The city was on an economic upswing, galleries were looking for something new to represent the re-birth of the city. It was at this time that the graffiti art scene began to split.
There was resistance from graffiti artists towards the gallery world, Was because most of the artists came from low-income neighbourhoods. The elite of the art world paid them no attention because of their class
Many graffiti artist believed they would be “selling out” if they agreed to put their work in a gallery. They felt that they were degrading their art by turning their work into a product that art dealers could buy and sell.
Section 6 1971 of the Criminal Damage Act states that, Someone caught doing graffiti will be guilty of a criminal act and can be fined up to £5,000. Alternatively they may be given a community service order rather than a fine
Tagging is when an artist stamps a signature in a stylised way onto a piece of property effectively claiming it as their own. But often tagging is used by gangs and in many cases it is often a sign that the area may be gang territory.
Consequently there are many schemes in relation to tagging trying to control the problem.
The Home Office launched a campaign “Name that Tag” in London which provided for rewards of £500 to anyone who can give information concerning consistent offenders.
Many local councils within the UK provide spaces for graffiti artists to produce their artwork legally. In order to find out about this and the locations within your community you should contact your local authority
“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.” ― Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall
“Graffiti is the youth’s subtle yet loud, clear and energetic response towards a society which showed no love for them, the so-called underdog“ – unknown
Should the laws behind graffiti be revisited?