Does further research, I look at perspectives of graffiti

Does graffiti is
only used as vandalism and tagging or can it bring meaning?

Graffiti is a dialogue between the author and reader and it
is driven by the need to express an opinion, though or experience. It allows
the key benefit of anonymity, which protects the writer from punishment. Fraser
says “It’s about a chance to vent frustrations, to say things you wouldn’t dare
speak up about…because sometimes you feel like letting the whole world know
how you are feeling without giving yourself away.” (Rodriguez, 2016, p.21) Meantime
in media, we come across statement “Graffiti is not Art- Graffiti is a Crime.”
(Rodriguez, 2016 p. 22) We can come across this statement because of private
and public property. In my further research, I look at perspectives of graffiti
function from a different definition of graffiti than vandalism. Does graffiti
is only used as vandalism and simple tagging or can it bring meaning and make a
world a little bit better using graffiti.

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What is the difference
between tagging and graffiti?

Graffiti and
tagging are two very similar forms of street art, but we should not get
confused by these two words. Both words are often spoken of in similar context,
but the form of the word is still different. Bill Sanders writes „Graffiti tags
litter Lambeth. A tag (short for ‘name tag’) is nickname or street name of a
young person,  quickly  written with pens, markers or cans of spray.”  (Sanders, 2005, p. 94). As Sanders says all
of the young people who tagged attributed to this: it was only a way to say ‘I
was here’ or expressing their involvement in hip-hop culture. Tagging actually
is a basic form what comes from graffiti. Sandrine Pereira in her’s book writes
the definition of graffiti „Noun signifying a pictorial composition based on
handwriting and sprayed on a wall or other surface.” ( Pereira, 2005, p.9).
Graffiti has a story or meaning behind. In the blog ‘Difference Between Graffiti and Tagging’ is
written: in several
dictionaries, graffiti is identified as a message or drawing in public places,
but conversely, a tag is basically a label. Both graffiti and tagging are illegal actions by law under the
Criminal Damage Act 1971, written by Law and Your Environment article ‘Graffiti’.

Worlds first modern graffiti writer and his tag.

Darryl McCray with his writing on the streets of Philadephia, 1967

Example of graffiti on the wall in Sweden

Graffiti female artists Yvette Vexta painting in
Sweden, 2017


We can see in these
two photos the difference between tagging and graffiti. Both are vandalism, but
we can see how graffiti can make it look more interesting and beautiful, mean time
tag does not say anything much, except that this person was here. Graffiti brought
meaning to this building; reader of this painting can make his own opinion and thought
about it.  


Banksy’s work
consistently shows as cultural criticism targeting
established social and political agendas.  He makes us think of the quote “The
greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but
by people following the rules. It’s people who follow orders that drop bombs
and massacre villages.”  (Min, 2012,
p.169) He has applied this spirit to his artworks to open human eyes through
the graffiti paintings he makes on the streets in late nights.  Off course, his actions are not legal, but as
the artist says (Banksy, 2005, p.8) a wall has always been the best place to
publish your work and graffiti is one of the truest art forms what is available
to us.  

Bomb Love (Bomb Hugger), 2003

Soldier – Los Angeles, USA, 2011

Hearts Doctor – San Francisco, 2010

Artist to make his
best work has to be who he is even if it means to take a risk and paint illegal.
To let Banksy’s potential and spirit free he has to do what he has to otherwise,
he wouldn’t be called who he is right now – political activist. “Some people
become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people
become vandals because they want to make the world a better-looking place.” (Banksy,
2005, p.8) As he says he has become one of the vandals, but his work painted on
the streets makes people think and receive his messages even louder and
stronger.  He lets his actions match his
words and he is willing to risk everything to make his voice count. “If you
want to say something and have people listened then you have to wear a mask. If
you want to be honest then you have to live a lie.” (Cordle, 2016, p. 5) That
is what Banksy’s does he is truly honest to himself and others by his work in
the same time he is leaving us with a secret as his identity is unknown, he is
living a lie.  

Graffiti Artists and
Murals Bridge Cultures Half-Way around the World

Some people do
believe art can change the world into better place. Central Asia Institute,
2016 writes “Easy brush strokes, sharp sketches, and even graffiti evoke
feelings that resonate with people from all walks of life. When barriers arise
from language, distance, and culture, art can create a bridge to universal
understanding and peace.”  Graffiti artist Sharif wants to fight for the
human rights mostly woman in Afghanistan and he is using paintings on the
streets to send a powerful message to others. Big Sky Journal writes about graffiti
artist Sharif “He is a social and human rights movement, co-founder of Art
Lords who use art, particular graffiti, to bring change in Afghanistan.”  Central Asia Institute mentions that two
years ago Art Lords started painting murals on the walls in Kabul that surround
government institutions and private businesses to protect them from bomb
explosions. They sent out a message to the world by painting mural ‘I see you’.

‘I see you’

“At first when I saw the big painting of the pair of eyes
… I thought it was to scare off the terrorists,” says Mohammad, “Then I read
the message and it is simple but very powerful: I am watching you.” (NBC News,
2015) The eyes communicate the idea that corruption is not hidden from anyone’s
eyes to see. Central Asia Institute, 2016 writes in their article ‘Graffiti
Artists and Murals Bridge Cultures Half-Way around the World’ that
Sharif offered himself to work in Kabul school and teach the girls how to truly
paint. They had a plan that together they should paint a mural to show girls
not only boy’s need education because they are future of Afghanistan. They also
tough message would be stronger if they would find the school in the U.S who
would paint a mural and send the message back to girls in Afghanistan. It would
make girls in Afghanistan stronger and prove they are not alone.  Erica is a teacher in Denver and she decided
to participate in this project. “Art should be about real things in the world,”
says Erica. “I thought it would be so great for my students to learn about
something real, something that matters.” (Central Asia Institute, 2016).
Students who participated learned were shocked when they found out women have
to fight for the right to go to school instead of being married. Trust in
Education writes “More than 50% of Afghan girls are married or engaged by 12
and only 40% of Afghanistan girls attend elementary school, one of 20 girls
attend school beyond the sixth grade.” (Trust in Education). Meantime in Kabul
art is a strict subject. In some of the strictest areas of Central, Asia art is
not allowed, and students who don’t listen are punished. “85% of women have no formal
education and are illiterate.” (Trust in Education). The students in Denver not
only learned about a new culture, they took those lessons to heart.  In the end, they created a beautiful and
strong painting called ‘Stand together Stand as One’.

Stand Together Stand as One

TSB’s sponsorship of Pride

The most recent challenge was TSB’s sponsorship of Pride in
Britain, 2017. TSB in article “Local
Pride” writes about inspirational charity work by Randhir Singh and Singh
Bahyia. They opened open kitchens to offer food to ‘all and everyone’ every
night of the week in towns and cities across Britain. (TSB, 2017)  TSB in the article “How the Midland Langar Seva
Society is helping the homeless every day” Randhir says while he was talking to a friend he discovered a man who was
homeless, and possibly hungry. (TSB, 2017) “So I went inside grocery shop
called Asda and bought some food. Then I went home and got him a blanket.” He
says “Helping him made me feel blessed, and that’s when I realized I wanted to
do more.” (TSB, 2017) England’s first professional graffiti company
Graffiti Kings were invited to paint a big mural portrait of Randhir on the
street of his hometown.  At the same time,
they had to film the video to share it after the mural will be finished on social
media. (TSB, 2017)

Big mural portrait in Birmingham,

According to the result of Graffiti King’s website, they got
more than 3.3 million views, and more than 30,000 likes (Graffiti Kings, 2017).
Big mural portrait presents the huge amount of pride that the local community
feels towards him. (TSB, 2017)