"" Writer's Wanderings: Graffiti Art - Legal Or Not?

Monday, October 16, 2017

Graffiti Art - Legal Or Not?

Have you ever stopped at a rail crossing and watched as train after train goes by covered in graffiti? We all know what it is. As Wikipedia defines it: writing or drawings that are scribbled, scratched, or painted illicitly on a wall or other surface often in public view. It goes on to say that it has existed since ancient times.

Today's graffiti in most cases is considered illegal and destruction of property no matter how elaborate the painting or design. In an effort to contain the rampant spread of would be street artists, many communities have set aside certain areas where artists can express themselves with their unique type of street art. It is said that there is an honor code and true graffiti artists will not paint over another's work.

Often times the art work is an expression of political views. I remember the artwork along the Berlin Wall. Some of it was still standing when we visited several years ago. Mostly though, it ends up simply being a "tag", someone's name spray painted on the side of a building or rail car or bridge. Those labeled as art and being recognized more throughout the art world are more colorful, designed well, and evoke the elements found in work that is considered artistic and valued.

You will see graffiti, art or not, in most any place you travel. There are some places in the world that are actually known for their artistic graffiti: Hosier Lane in Melbourne, Australia; Warsaw, Poland; Tesnov, Prague; Paris, France; Taipei, Taiwan; Zurich, Switzerland; Sydhavnen, Copenhagen, Denmark; Burghausen, Germany; and in the United States, Queens, New York and Venice, California. An article, 10 Places Where Graffiti Is Legal, is well worth reading if you are planning to visit any of those areas.

In my researching, I did find another interesting place online, The Graffiti Creator, where you can type in your name or other word and play with the colors and designs to create your own work of art. That's where my TRAVEL graffiti came from. Have fun!

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