Tuesday, August 23, 2011


A couple of years ago, Robbie and I spent 6 weeks in Europe. It was an amazing adventure that I am so lucky to have experienced. While we were trekking along, one of the unusual characteristics that caught my eye was the graffiti in so many cities. Rome was the biggest surprise, but Paris, Barcelona, and London weren't expected either.

Throughout my childhood, I tended to view graffiti negatively, as though it should be immediately painted over or removed. It was something that only "hoodlums" took part in. In the defense of those who called taggers, "hoodlums", most of the graffiti in my hometown was gang-related and lacked an artistic point-of-view. Luckily, most of the graffiti we found in Europe portrayed the character of the artist and their city.

Here are a few of my favorites...




How do you feel about graffiti? Do you think it is a street art that should be legalized? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. The legalization of graffiti is a touchy topic. Most graffiti artists agree that the illegal nature of the art is what makes it so unique. In some locations, where there are legal graffiti walls, the work tends to have an extremely polished and detailed look. Many proponents of legal graffiti say that this is allowing the art form to grow and flourish. Opponents of legal graffiti (but proponents of graffiti) will say that this is not true to the art form and that the brevity and quick skill required is a large part of the art. Without the need for rush and sneaking around, it ceases to be "true" graffiti. So to the them, the avoidance of the law is part of the spirit of graffiti that cannot be ignored. Placement is also an important part of graffiti. In most legal graffiti situations, the art can only be viewed on one wall. When it is illegal, all walls are canvases and challenges. This requires another level of skill and creativity. How does one get their art 100 feet up without sacrificing precision or being seen? How does one use an unused wall creatively to interact with the environment. These factors are part of what makes graffiti so great. If graffiti were legalized, many of the surprising and unexpected places that the art shows up would vanish or become dull and uninteresting.

  2. Andrew, thank you for the great response! The idea that certain artists prefer that it remain illegal is so interesting to me. I can understand that they want to preserve the originality and purpose behind it, but it almost seems exclusive. It’s interesting that they would rather risk punishment than have it overrun with individuals who hold a different style (i.e. polished & detailed).

    These are all new ideas to me, so thanks for bringing it to light!


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