Graffiti, Vandalism or Street Art?

Vandalism in a way is graffiti but, usually consists of tags or throws. Tags are the social economic changes that the artists witness as they grew up ex. NERDS: he/she may have been called names growing up. Throws (or throw ups) are quickly executed pieces of the artist’s moniker. All are done illegally.

Graffiti is the phenomenon of a much more recent period, and in that context, the debate is only about fifty years old. As a response to modernism and social segregation, graffiti became the means of communication and identity.


Street art is visual art created in public locations, usually unsanctioned artwork executed outside of the context of traditional art venues. Other terms for this type of art include “independent public art”, “post-graffiti”, and “neo-graffiti”.

Bansky, Space Invader (below), Jack Le Rat, etc. Street art is public art.

Being able to define the issues around commonly confused terms in a communities’ archetype will answer the question who, what, where, and why.  In 2008, in the United Kingdom, the London Borough of Brent, decided engage a project to address the problem of recurrent tagging and graffiti in the area. As a result, a mural was created which investigates the simplistic way in which society often judges, categorizes and occasionally demonizes people and the inherent long-term dangers that such negative stereotyping poses for communities. The average the number of sites that reduced vandalism fell by 25 per cent between 2006/07 and 2009/10.

Defining the wicked problems (i.e. misuse of the word graffiti) allows for the creation of unique objects and artifacts. This is due to the population seeking further employment, hence the economic divide will increase.  Then public resources will stop, and social services programs will be effected.  Communities of all shapes and sizes are stuck in the ineffable struggle of funding education, social platforms, etc. and this art form allows for an outlet to represent society.