Graffiti In The Lives of Young People | Teen Ink

Graffiti In The Lives of Young People

May 29, 2019
By Dannam16 BRONZE, Los Osos, California
Dannam16 BRONZE, Los Osos, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Art is everywhere you look. It could be your 3 year old child’s stick figure family drawings, it can be cheeto bags arranged in an abstract way making it unique, a ceramic teapot, or it can be a beautiful mural painted by the famous Leonardo di Vinci. The word art is defined as something that is created with imagination and skill or that expresses important ideas or feelings, but many times it can be misinterpreted by excluding certain types of art forms such as graffiti.


When “graffiti” is brung up, some individuals automatically visualize vandalism, illegal, derogatory, but others see meaningful murals, a world of colors, portraits. Yes the laws of public property classifies graffiti as “illegal” because the majority of the time it damages property, but that does not mean its not art. Not only does graffiti have all the characteristics of being a valid art form but it can contribute positively to the future of young artists as well.


Many famous artists such as Banksy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Lady Pink rouse to fame because of their early tagging and spray painting done out on the streets. Their artwork has inspired and continues inspiring young people who now have a living as graffiti and street artists. In an article on The New York Times, Lady Pink, an artist and muralist, states that graffiti is inspiring to young people because its fun, cool, does not take formal training. 15 year old Peter Ferrari, an Atlanta street and public art artist, who is currently 38 years old, says how he went through a Banksy phase where Banksy’s street exhibits encouraged him to begin spray painting garages with colorful aerosols. As time went by, Ferrari’s began doing graffiti on the streets of Atlanta, Georgia, where his work is commissioned by both private companies and individuals. He is considered as a public artist and his creations can be found all around the walls of Atlanta. Even though graffiti art is considered illegal to the laws of public property, graffiti can serve as an inspiration to young individuals who want to create a living through the arts. Just as Peter Ferrari was once moved by Banksy’s work, many juvenile groups may want to experiment with the beauty of graffiti themselves which could lead to living off of their artwork.


A few may say that graffiti would encourage the younger generations to the wrongdoings of violating the laws. Although this could be true, these artists should continue their work but only with permission from the owners of properties that are intended to be marked or at dilapidated areas. Review writer Madeleynn Green from the Cornell International Affairs Reviews, states on her review that in East London old buildings were being replaced by new flats and businesses and gave street artists an opportunity to paint on these underrated buildings. Green also writes how often street artists simply ask a building owner if they can paint on their building and permission is granted because according to business owners, street artists add a unique flair to their building that may attract customers. Some street artists are even hired to put up work because the appeal of street art. If future street artists ask permission to paint buildings or work on dilapidated areas where police are less vigilant, than graffiti wouldn’t be “a crime”. By producing their artwork on these buildings, artists are able to express their feelings and bring awareness about important current events to their community at the same time as receiving amiration for their artistic talents.


The act of street art or graffiti are often categorized as a crime because it's illegal and it vandalizes public properties. This is not always true if artists create their art in the correct way by asking permission or paint on dilapidated buildings. Graffiti has many benefits by positively contributing to the future of the younger generations.  


Works Cited

Flake, Ebony. "Two Legendary Detroit Graffiti Artists Make Their Mark On Historic Train Station ." , Flec, 24 July 2018. Accessed 14 May 2019.

"From Graffiti To Murals For Children." , Missouri Life, 31 Jan. 2018. Accessed 14 May 2019.

Green, Madeleynn. "A Beautiful Mess: The Evolution of Political Graffiti in the Contemporary City." , Cornell International Affairs Review, 2014. Accessed 14 May 2019.

Imam, Jareen. "From graffiti to galleries: Street vs.public art." , CNN, 5 Aug. 2012. Accessed 14 May 2019.

Pink, Lady. "Graffiti is Young, Cool, Creative- Let it Happen." , The New York Times, 11 July 2014. Accessed 14 May 2019.

Sumagpao, Jeanell. How Does Graffiti Benefit the Society?, Food World News, 11 Nov. 2015. Accessed 14 May 2019.

"'The History of American Grafitti:' From Subway Car to Gallery." , PBS, 31 Mar. 2011. Accessed 14 May 2019.

The author's comments:

My name is Danna M. and I am currently a high school student. My piece is related to the topic of graffiti and my opinion on how it’s misinterpreted by many individuals. Graffiti has many good benefits for young people in the world and I wanted to share that in my piece. 

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