All Graffiti Is Good – Curbing It Rejects Art, Culture – The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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A recent article posted in the comments section of The college girl praised the city of Fort Collins for its abundant murals while condemning the vandalism. I think it is valuable to let a vandal defend his practice. So why is graffiti good?

First, graffiti is an ancient cultural practice observed around the world and produces, among other arts, works of various qualities. Like other art, graffiti can range from simple tags to massive murals with incomprehensible letters (at least to those unfamiliar with graffiti) and astonishing color combinations.

Rejecting graffiti is ultimately a rejection of art, especially art that is so public and so accessible.

Graffiti art can be incredibly cheap and can be done with a $3 can of paint or a stolen Sharpie, making it much easier for poor and working class people to participate than with, say, oil painting or graphic design . Learning to create art may require lessons or formal education – both expensive as sin – but graffiti can be much more financially accessible.

Furthermore, most conventional art has been relegated to museums that can be expensive to visit and purposefully limit the definition of “good art” in ways that benefit the owners of “good art.”

Graffiti also takes time. Artists often create their art on odd schedules (nights or early mornings) and usually aim to produce a large number of quick works along with a few longer, high-quality works, which also tend to be expensive.

Many graffiti artists specifically put the most effort into creating the art associated with their tag, and perfecting an individual tag can be a complex process of varying lettering styles and accents to create something aesthetically pleasing, but especially for -simple works those that are less elaborate than well-planned murals these labels also need to be applied quickly, given the legal issues.

“Why is graffiti good? For many of us, it’s the only art we can make that people can see. Hell, that pisses off even the worst of people. Wear a mask, stay safe and start tagging today.”

Graffiti, for the most part, is illegal. Vandalism or purposeful damage to someone else’s property certainly seems wrong. Many graffiti artists agree! Others recognize that the impact of graffiti varies depending on who owns the damaged property and advocate tagging only businesses or city property.

Why is that? Tagging a home or fence hurts a co-worker more often than not, and hurts them far more than vandalizing a business hurts a business owner.

Property is everything in the world we live in (racist, patriarchal capitalism) and is the ball and chain that prevents the poor working class from living fulfilling lives of leisure and abundance while the ultra-rich who own the walls we mark and control the governments , on whose utilities we draw, have more wealth than they can spend.

Dumping and tags lower property values ​​and thus keep affordable housing affordable. Murals like those seen in gentrification are meant to prevent graffiti and prevent poor — in most gentrification, black or brown — people from practicing a long-standing art culture, while also leading to evictions and rising rents.

Property and the laws that enforce it prevent us all from living the way we want. This is why laws against property damage are so strict and actively enforced, while laws that could (theoretically, but never could in practice) prevent interpersonal harm are not. Both the police and the law are highly racist institutions in places like the United States, which is why upholding the law—which so many people have been taught—is a racist practice.

Why follow a law designed to destroy the lives of black and brown people for the benefit of white people – and especially the rich?

Graffiti culture produces countless publicly accessible works of art, and it does so for a class of people—the working class—who can’t see their art any other way. It’s only because of racist social norms about breaking the rules that it’s so heavily overlooked. Why is graffiti good? For many of us, it’s the only art we can make that people can see. Hell, that pisses off even the worst of people. Wear a mask, stay safe and start tagging today.

Peter Crowe,

Colorado State University Janitor/Janitorial Technician

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