California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    The Different Art That Covers City Walls

    Like any form of art, graffiti is an expression of someone’s creative talents and should be appreciated in its many forms. The graffiti art I am referring to is not the tagging scribbles over billboards and business signs, but the large words or even murals of graffiti that have thought, imagination and color coordination behind them.

    This type of graffiti is the type that is produced as a form of artistic expression on public displays and local city walls all over the world and should be appreciated by a large audience.

    Through an elaborate thought process, as with any work of art, graffiti has a meaning and a message behind what is published. Of course, anyone can pick up a spray can, spray it on a wall and call it graffiti; but the actual art of graffiti is much more than this.

    The main purpose of graffiti is to make a statement.  The type of graffiti art that should be considered true art are the pieces that are published in a public space with a meaning behind it. Artists today have even begun to break the barrier between graffiti and traditional art by having their art published in public and in museums.

    Banksy, an artist who has broken this barrier, uses multi-layered stencils and silkscreen prints for his street art. His work is created to inspire viewers to explore new perspectives or ideas.

    According to an article on Street Art Bio, “His artwork is often satirical and combines dark humor with graffiti and also spread messages across art, philosophy and politics.”

    Like Banksy’s art, the goal of graffiti is to make you think and observe what the artist intended to produce and the message that was meant to be seen. Graffiti is sometimes seen as a destruction of public property, but if the same works were put on a canvas and hung up on a boring wall it would be considered art.

    People argue that graffiti makes a city look dangerous or dirty. According to the Daily Herald Tribune, graffiti can affect the overall image of a community. This may be true, but it also depends on what the community decides to do about it. These communities have a couple options when it comes to graffiti; the city could either use tax payers money to take it down or find a way to enjoy it and the color it adds to the local walls.

    According to museumofthecity.org, even when crews are sent to cover up a piece of graffiti, they usually do not have the exact color of the wall and this creates large discolored rectangles all over the wall. This may be effective but in reality, it does not  look better.

    Personally, I would rather see a colorful work of art instead of a blank white wall or a wall with random discolored rectangles.

    A local artist from Los Angeles named Jason Maldonado, who is 33-years-old,  became interested in the art of graffiti when he was 16 years old.

    Maldonado believes that graffiti is an art that not just anybody could do.

    “Graffiti is an art of the community and public, so yes, I consider it art because it shows a person’s creativity and imagination expressed in different colors and shapes,” Maldonado said.

    Maldonado said it is unfortunate that graffiti gets bad publicity because many people do not know much about it and what people do not know can scare them or cause them to hate the subject. He talked about his work with passion, emotion and pride.

    “I think that the thing that would surprise people the most about graffiti is that vandalism is the last thing we really want to do,” Maldonado said. “Most of us are just sons, nephews and brothers that were raised with good values and morals. We mostly want to show off our art in wide open public walls or buildings for everyone to see.”

    It may not seem like it, but graffiti is just like social media. We put things up on our walls and our pages for people to see and enjoy. Graffiti artists do the same thing but with more meaning, thought and imagination behind it and that is what makes it art.

    Luisa Virgen
    Reporter