Should graffiti be considered art?

We often hear the phrase, “ I don’t know what art is, but I know it when i see it,” and that graffiti can be provocative, costly and unnecessary. Yet, many people enjoy seeing a little piece of encouragement on their way home from school, or work, after a long day of not so much ambition. Graffiti allows the artist to express their creativity and imagination with a chance of having a legitimate future along with a career based off of their artistic excellence.

   When most people think of graffiti they automatically think of the simple “tags” of names or gang affiliated words. On the other hand, have you ever considered the messages these people try to get across to our society with the more complex pieces they create? In the time lapse video of Austin’s artistic community, Andrew Takano captures an amazing way to understand the process of graffiti in action.

   Some scholars question whether we should consider graffiti as a criminal damage even though the art piece just might be worth $100,000, if it wasn’t on the wall. However, the significance found in this unique form of art is that it’s created in public spaces and tells us a countless amount of different stories, which makes it worth even more than that.


Located in Austin,Texas, the graffiti wall at Castle Hill is referred to as a “Place that embodies the true spirit and weirdness” of the city. For those who are curious about the famous saying, “Keep Austin Weird,” must visit this one of a kind experience.


Some may look at the people with the bandannas on first. Yet, some may read the caption before looking at the image, however, if you look deep into the meaning of it all, you may realize there’s more behind just the three people.

Notice that the similarity between the two, is the word “Art”. This shows the appreciation these graffiti artist want to receive and the pride they put into their pieces.


Pieces like this are inspirational to an audience who tend to wander a lot, the person who created it may be able to relate with their thoughts.

In contrast to the simple “tags,” the more complex pieces demonstrate the great amount of time and effort that was put into them. For example, the duck on the wall looks very identical to the “Duck Hunt” game.


After taking a look at this image, what were the intentions that first came to mind? It illustrates a story as the viewer looks at the specific details of what they’re wearing, the low number of people, or the person at the back of the group with blood covering their face. Many people may see this and automatically think of gangs, or violence, when really the person who created this is trying to get a clearer message to society.


Psychologists say that up to 80% self-talk is negative and that we can “abuse ourselves” at a speed of 400 words per minute. Therefore “Life is Perception.”


Based off of New York’s graffiti laws, spray paint has been prohibited under the age of 18. However, most graffiti in Austin has been artistically created by all ages, so this would limit the amount of covered walls as well as the talent overall.

  Although a lot of pieces tend to get vandalized by others, this unique form of art is created in public spaces to tell the viewer a story while showing their skills and imagination involved for a chance of a artistic future.



One thought on “Should graffiti be considered art?

  1. Much like any form of free speech or expression, there will always be those who make a negative choice, spewing hate and disrespect simply because they can. However, to condemn graffiti solely as negative speech and expression would be a mistake. Graffiti can convey positive message, unite communities and inspire people to act. Also, lots of graffiti can look pretty cool, artistic and probably takes a very long time to create 🙂


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