Table of Contents
Description of the Art Work
The Three Six Duce Coast graffiti is described by a mix of wording and numbers drawn on one of the city streets. The wording in the graffiti is less stylized where it incorporates blocks of letters and numbers which represent affiliated gang. The graffiti was drawn by the Three Six Duce Coast group of Los Angeles where they use an interesting lettering approach whereby different words are represented by unique letters. For instance, the word “six” is spelt by a “C”, to enhance their “Crip” uniqueness (Alonso 16). This graffiti seeks to define territorial boundaries between the groups living in the area and are an important social identity for the youth in the area.
Introduction: Introduction of the concept and art
Supporting Fact 1: Graffiti represents a form of creating territorial turfs
Supporting Fact 2: Graffiti creates a social identity for the youth
Graffiti sets the stage for free artwork where admirers can experience its exuberance in the streets. The written numbers and wordings show diverse cultures through art. In understanding graffiti, therefore, this paper analyzes the social importance of African-American graffiti that is located in the Los Angeles (LA) area. The Three Six Duce Coast group uses this art to mark territorial boundaries. The artwork contains different numbers spaced between letters of different colours that are rendered in the most basic lettering style. The graffiti incorporates a long arrow that is pointed towards the inscriptions which symbolizes the territorial boundaries in the area. Evidently, the graffiti is important for the youth since it serves as an important tool of identity and psychological satisfaction.
Graffiti defines the social order of a specific subgroup within a society. Evidently, street art is a highly publicized aspect. On one hand, there are those like Elura Emerald, an American artist, who suggests that artists are merely expressing themselves through street art. Then, on the other hand, there are judges such as Christopher Hard of Southwark Court who describe the activities of street artists as self-indulgent criminal campaigns (Arifa 1). Sociologists have interpreted graffiti as an important facet of self-expression, where it has been suggested that the uniqueness of African-American graffiti uses symbolization to present the message they seek to communicate.
The notion of marking territories is perhaps an important aspect of gang graffiti, and when closely examined it can showcase the accurate portrayal of turf ownership. By reading the walls covered with graffiti it can show the extent of who owns specific territories. This spans to the non-gang youths of the area, who respect the acclaimed areas in an effort to avoid gang conflict (Randall et al. 119). Society, however, is somewhat mixed up with the interpretations of such graffiti.
The importance of marking territories is essential when describing the identity of African-American gangs. These territories are important in creating a sense of identity within society. In this regards these turfs, serving as territories, are essential when creating identities and a representation of the African Americans way of life. It can be argued that street art adds to the creation of socially acclaimed locations, and it enhances the dialectical linkage between the gangs and turf. Identity, however, is an important social order for the youth. Many African-American youths have limited or no access to legitimate mastery over locations and as such, they are compelled to endure stress and discomfort. Many adolescent youths think that recognition and respect can only be gained by being successful at something in society, and the streets create such an environment. Tentatively, the gangs cannot be seen as transgressive because most of their concerns revolve around issues of adolescent youth, contrary to popular beliefs.
In conclusion, art should, therefore, be expressed freely, as it presents a way in which the youth can create their identity in the society and satisfy their psychological development that troubles them at such an age. Understanding street art and their significance to the specific subculture is therefore important.
- Akbar, Arifa. “Graffiti: Street art or crime?” The Independent, 16 July 2088
- Alonso, Alex. Urban Graffiti on the City Landscapes. San Diego State
- University, 1998
- Sheldon, Randall, Sharon Tracy and Brown, William 1996. Youth Gangs in American
- Society. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co, 1996