By ALEXIS LLOYD
English 9 Honors; Lancaster High School
Teacher: C. Hulgan
Art is defined as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. When we see graffiti, most people’s reaction isn’t to praise the artist for creativity. Nobody ever seems to be inspired by street art or, as most call it, graffiti. We are all copies of one another in today’s society. Why do we feel obligated to judge one’s individuality?
Graffiti, whether on walls, train cars, or buildings, is art.
Graffiti has been used for years and years, from drawing on walls by the cavemen to the claiming of cities by the ancient Romans. It also has given cities a unique flare. Graffiti is a way for people to express themselves and show their imagination and creativity.
Many argue art must be appealing to the eye of the beholder. However, if you argue the preservation of our ancestors to be so beautiful, and we do the same as they did, why do we not call our present day graffiti beautiful?
One day, humankind will all be gone. If humans want their legacy to live on, shouldn’t we preserve what we have done so that our great great great grandchildren can have something beautiful to remember our generation by?
Calling an illustration “ugly” is an opinion. As a society, we have the right to think that way, but it is not a fact. If somebody thought the Mona Lisa was ugly, does that make it any less art? Of course not, that is just one’s opinion.
Others will refer to graffiti as a “violence attractor.” Many say the guns inside some of the drawings will lead to more violence and more killings. Referring to guns does not kill people; the people who pull the trigger kill people.
During ancient times, the first forms of scripture and storytelling by the natives or cavemen were through drawings on walls. Stories passed through generations, and generations were preserved on rocks or walls. During Roman times, they would claim the land they conquered by drawing on the town’s buildings. It was just their way of life and how they claimed their land. In the modern day world, members of gangs will do the same thing. It is just their way of life. If that is how they live, who are we to judge?
According to Cameron McAuliffe, author of “Graffiti or Street Art? Negotiating the Moral Geographies of the Creative City,” Graffiti is a part of life and gives the city its own urban originality and flare. McAuliffe states, “Graffiti in its various forms has become a perennial feature of life at the edges of the contemporary city.” In cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Sydney, it is a way of life. In Seattle, tourists come in and out of the city and their lives are forever changed. One glimpse of the Freemont troll or just walking in the streets is inspiring. One’s creativity is art.
“Artistic graffiti is a modern day offspring of traditional graffiti that has elevated itself, from just scrawling word or phrases on a wall to a complex artistic form of personal expression.” The unknown author of this quote is expressing how true art is one’s creativity. In order for something to be considered art, you do not have to like it. Who are we to judge somebody on whether or not they are being creative? Who are we to decide if their imagination and creativity is art?
Modern day graffiti is found everywhere. Graffiti has been a form of creativity since cavemen times and is still inspiring people today. Whether in Sydney, Seattle, China or even Lancaster, somebody took time out of their day to share creative thoughts. It is not whether we like the artist’s work, it is the imagination perceived through it. Graffiti, whether found on walls, train cars, or buildings, is art.