A skater uses the South Bank skatepark in London. Plans to replace the Undercroft space with new arts venues and retail outlets were scuttled after public outcry. This mode of expression allows them to feel part of the community through an investment of the tag name on public property. ( Log Out /  Street art is diverse from every way you look at it. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Transport for London workers had no such critical pretensions when removing a Banksy piece from a wall near Old Street Station in 2007. scrubbed from the walls of the River Lea Navigation. Even without a dedicated event, for every painted wall in a city there is most likely a tour to go with it. In this context, graffiti can serve to provide something to people that is aesthetically beautiful to see and can help to inspire members of the community to invest in that community. *Thanx* Click here to watch presentations from the Graffiti Sessions conference, organised by UCL Urban Laboratory and the Graffiti Dialogues Network. But as cities seek to “clean up”, could graffiti’s ephemeral role within the urban environment actually be good for cities? The UK spends £1bn on graffiti removal each year. Adam Cooper, cultural strategy officer for the Mayor of London, thinks graffiti is a positive force in its own right. Meanwhile, just down the riverbank at Southwark crown court, eight members of London’s well-known DPM crew were tried for an estimated £1m in graffiti-related damages across the country, and sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison – the biggest prosecution for graffiti that the UK has ever seen. Active curation of street art really got into full swing in pre-Olympic London when the work of a local crew was scrubbed from the walls of the River Lea Navigation to make way for street art by several international artists, specially commissioned by the Olympic legacy’s public art body. But when sentencing London tagger Daniel “Tox” Halpin to a 27-month jail sentence in 2011, the prosecutor told the jury: “He is no Banksy. The renowned haven for urban graffiti artists was demolished to make way for luxury apartments. Captivating urban artwork shows how graffiti breathes life into communities. The benefits of graffiti Many people see graffiti as a social ill that contributes negatively to a city and society. The purpose of graffiti can be to tell a story; it can be to tell you about a specific moment in time where everything either went bad or good; it can be to tell you about people, politics, culture, art, places and society in general; it can be to express yourself anonymously, it can … A three-hour graffiti walk around the streets of Shoreditch could set you back £20, and in colourful Buenos Aires a tour of the decorated walls can cost $25 (£16). A petition signed by more than 2,000 people spurred the council to back off. “Graffiti is always about being slightly naughty … It’s a different mindset from painting legally.”, Legal walls may fail to excite some artists – “It’s the tiger in a cage v the tiger running free through the jungle,” says one – but they do offer a space for social intervention, where artists can act as mentors, using graffiti as a force for community cohesion and a potential route out of crime for inner-city kids. Many people see graffiti as a social ill that contributes negatively to a city and society. Graffiti can turn a boring old brick wall into a piece of art as a result; graffiti can decorate a community in some peoples’ eyes (Gonzalez, 2012). Since its contemporary birth in 1960s Philadelphia, city leaders have tended to condemn graffiti as mindless vandalism. Also, graffiti is a way to express oneself. “It’s about ownership and respect, it gives them an identity,” he says. From its roots as a means of visual communication for disenfranchised youth to both hide and be seen, graffiti has developed into a bona fide art form, a legitimate force for economic, cultural and social good – and, as we continue to shift towards increasingly sanitised urban environments, one of the few remaining ways we have to respond to our surroundings in an expressive, public way. Today, many of the same officers support graffiti initiatives for city beautification, and as a crime deterrent. The more visible the tag, or the more dangerous the place is, the more “fame value” there is in it. While every bodies own view of beauty is their own, graffiti can help to enliven a city that may seem cold and sterile to those who live there and can help to create unique and interesting neighborhoods. New York’s graffiti spot 5Pointz stands defaced with white paint in November 2013. Seeing the tension between artists and city police, Petro opted to promote urban art as a form of cultural expression, and decriminalised graffiti. While every bodies own view of beauty is their own, graffiti can help to enliven a city that may seem cold and sterile to those who live there and can help to create unique and interesting neighborhoods. Simultaneously, it is harnessed by local authorities and property owners as a method of cultural branding, to create the sort of “poor but sexy” neighbourhoods that work so well for cities like Berlin. Change ), How You Can Actually Have a Career in Graffiti. He doesn’t have the artistic skills.” (A commemorative Tox mural by Banksy appeared in Camden soon after, and was quickly protected by Perspex casing.) Street art is an important part of history and identity for many metropolises, and this photographer is working to keep that image intact. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. While simple forms of graffiti are often thought to be a sign of urban blight, graffiti can be transformed into tremendous works of art in some cases by talented graffiti artists. This article will highlight some of the benefits to graffiti in a city and what those benefits convey to a city’s citizens. ( Log Out /  Ban it, legalise it, put it behind glass ... no matter what city councils do, graffiti remains the scapegoat for all manner of urban ills, from burglary on one extreme to gentrification on the other. Graffiti on open walls and buildings provide them an open canvas just waiting to be painted on. Graffiti is seen similar to pollution and garbage; as a overwhelming sign of city blight and poverty. Graffiti Is a Public Good, Even As It Challenges the Law Lu Olivero is the director of Aerosol Carioca and the author of the forthcoming "Cidade Grafitada: A Journey Inside Rioʼs Graffiti Culture." Legal or not, as graffiti seeps into the fabric of neighbourhoods, it becomes a natural fact of everyday life in the city, a cultural practice appreciated and legitimised by young urban dwellers. Graffiti art is an issue that occurs in many places around the world and it’s controversial based on whether the artist has permission or not. But despite this clear-cut definition, there are double standards in the way graffiti is perceived, and the law creates pockets of permission for some artists while penalising others. In December 2013, for instance, a magistrate glowingly used the phrase “the next Banksy” to describe a Manchester graffiti artist who ultimately avoided jail. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. It’s just not the same feeling,” says Glynn Judd, a former train writer who now only paints in legal spots since his “NOIR” tag had him thrown into prison. But the quarantined nature of these spaces embodies the very essence of what many graffiti artists seek to challenge.

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