Graffiti: is it an Art or a Crime

June 14, 2010
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Many cities are toughening up laws to fight graffiti. For example, in San Francisco, California; property owners are given 30 days to clean up graffiti on their properties, or face paying the city to do it for them. Inevitably the question will come up, is graffiti an art or crime? Like every thing else in this world, graffiti has some bad out comes but it also has some good out comes too. Graffiti should be considered a form of art because it keeps youths off of the street, it is a unique way to display art, and there is no real definition for art.
Graffiti should be considered an art because it keeps youths off of the street. There used to be a building were Pet Co park is and it was called writer’s block. Writer’s block is where artist can go to put up their artwork with out having to worry about the police discovering them. There is still another writer’s block on Euclid.
Graffiti is a unique way to display art. Not all of graffiti looks trashy. There is some that actually looks good. For example, in Chicano Park there are these murals with paintings of different races of people and a few pieces of graffiti. And that type of graffiti is beautiful. Some artists carry books around called black books. The black books are a collection of pieces that they or other people have done.
Since no one has ever come up with a real definition for art. Philosophers have been trying for decades to come up with a way to define what art is, but haven’t had any progress. Someone could create something, if any one likes it then it is art to them; but to others it could be trash. For instance, in San Francisco, people are buying the famous Keith Haring’s artwork for up to $100,000; but others would never put that kind of artwork in their homes.
Graffiti isn’t attractive. For instance, when people do little scribble scrabbles on the walls or when they carve some street name in to a stapler or television, it is unattractive. It is also very expensive to clean it up. In a survey done in 2006; in Las Angeles, graffiti removal cost was $28 million. In San Jose, it cost $2 million it clean up the graffiti. And Pittsburg spent over $350 thousand to clean up the graffiti and tagging. But if the people that own the building or the people that are responsible for that building don’t want the graffiti, they should clean it up. Why should the city do it for them?
Not all graffiti should be considered a crime. Graffiti does many good things for youths because it’s a way it express themselves, it keeps youths off of the street and out of a juvenile facility.

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