Graffiti as Art

Subject: Art
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 918
Topics: Advertising, Art Comparison, Painting, Pop Art, Popular Culture

A comparative analysis is based on evaluation between the subjects in question whereby one has to systematically understand the different perspectives in place before trying to explain the comparisons (Valerie Pattyn and Befani). There are arguments as to whether graffiti can be regarded as art or not. Therefore, it important to understand what art means and what it intends and then use this information to gauge as to whether graffiti falls under them. It is also important to acknowledge that there are arguments that suggest that street art is different from graffiti.

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In order to understand art, it is imperative to incorporate the intentions of the artist. Therefore, there is often a conceptual gap between the intentions that initiated a certain work and the completed work. However, these intentions are what guides artists and drives every work of art. Most works of arts are meant to implicit meanings and attain recognition. In comparison, graffiti is often used to send out a certain message or with the intent of implying something. Sometimes graffiti is not well-thought, but it still manages to come out with a message whether logical or not.

Art refers to a broad range of activities such as painting, theatre, literature, dance, film, and music among others. Therefore, art is a broad topic which encompasses a lot of activities. Therefore, one can argue that graffiti is a form of art as it has a similar description with painting. There have been numerous articles comparing street art and graffiti, and this shows that these two activities relate in one way. Graffiti entails drawing in the streets or some form of painting on the walls. This shows that graffiti and paint closely relate. However, people have used graffiti for political and some liberal reasons and thus outlines the differences with art. However, it is imperative to consider the process of coming up with graffiti in order to determine whether it can be considered as a form of art. One can consider working motivations, non-aesthetic intent, and historical or biological intent in trying to understand the implication of any artistic work (Conrad). This argument shows that graffiti can be considered as art because the artist had certain motivations when coming up with the piece.

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Graffiti and street art relate in that they are both subversive art movements in which the art is displayed in public instead of a gallery setting (Weisberg). This shows that graffiti is a form of art. It is not the most popular form of art as many people are more adjusted to other forms such as paintings or music, but it presents a diverse form of art. The intention of graffiti pieces is at times misguided as many youths use this platform to come up with obscene and unwelcome drawing or writings. This does not serve to eliminate it from the long list of types of art.

An article published in the year 2014 by Pwitt tried to compare graffiti and advertising and shows their intention. This article argued that both graffiti and advertising are forms of art shaped to capture the attention of people in a public space (Pwitt). This argument may seem a limitation, but it brings out the crucial perspective that graffiti is meant to draw the attention of the public. Like most art pieces, graffiti is designed for the public, and thus it falls perfectly into the definition of art. Art is meant to entertain people, draw their attention, and pass along a message, or give them something to think or laugh about. Graffiti has similar intentions whether they are good or perverse.

Graffiti relates more to some works of art such as drawing and paintings. Most artists present their works in exhibitions and get recognition for their pieces. However, some graffiti pieces do not get the recognition they deserve as they are just writings or paintings on a wall by an artist that many people have no idea of. Ultimately, a person can come up with a painting and place it in an exhibition and get recognized as having brought a masterpiece in the world of art. This same piece would not be welcomed with the same enthusiasm by the world if it was a mere graffiti on Fourth Street. This shows that graffiti is a form of art and it is only different because people considering interpreting the work differently.

Some graffiti pieces have a wider perspective on life than other pieces of art. This is because some people paint their minds out in these pieces to send out a message and remain anonymous. Therefore, the message entailed is in-depth and meant to reach a wider range of audience. The intention of an artist shapes up the success of any piece of art. In theatres, people decide which films they will show up for. For instance, some may appreciate romance while others love comedies. This is different with graffiti as the pieces are on walls and people will look at them before they decide to look away. However, this outlines the whole intent of graffiti; a form of art meant to reach the larger public.

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Did you like this sample?
  1. Conrad, Daniel. “Aesthetics.” 5 April 2016. The Importance of the Artist’s Intent. 19 October 2017.
  2. Pwitt. “Painting a Town: Graffiti vs. Advertising.” 13 February 2014. 19 October 2017.
  3. Valerie Pattyn, Astrid Molenveld, and Barbara Befani. “Evaluation Tool.” American Journal of Evaluation (2017).
  4. Weisberg, Jill C. “Schriftt and Farbe.” 16 May` 2017. The Difference Between Street Art Graffiti. 19 October 2017.
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