Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I think graffiti is the purest form of art that exists in the world today. So much art, in any medium—music, film, poetry, literature, paintings, sculptures, whatever—is compromised either by its intention, its motivation, or its reception.

It’s common nowadays to accuse an artist of “selling out.” While the sentiment is understandably contested by some who insist that money doesn’t necessarily change someone’s artistic perspective, it’s tough to deny that it may have an effect. Many artists produce work solely for monetary compensation, and it’s often clear that the piece was motivated by finance rather than emotion or integrity. But nobody pays graffiti artists—they supply their own materials, and receive nothing other than their own personal satisfaction.

Another compromise can sometimes be personal reputation. An artist may avoid working with a subject they fear may endanger their public reputation, or the reverse, they may choose to attempt a specific kind of material just because they think it will make them popular. But graffiti artists (at least the ones that don’t tag their name) are almost unanimously anonymous, and are therefore free from those traps.

Whether it’s a large-scale mural on the side of a city building or a simple message on the back of a bathroom stall, what you’re looking at is an illegal defacement—but it’s also the most sincere and uncompromised form of artistic expression that exists in the world today.


  1. I can see why graffity is illegal, but it's a form of art. At least give the people more places where they can legally place their art.

  2. I appreciate all art, but I can understand why people who get angry. Some graffiti is terrible and just ruins buildings...The good stuff is ok though