Thursday, August 02, 2012

Is graffiti art or vandalism?

I was in Copenhagen (Denmark) some days ago and on the train station I saw below image of  Copenhagen with the text Kunst eller Haervaerk? which means Art or Vandalism? It got me thinking.

Text to the right: Art or Vandalism?
Photo: © Petite Caja

I don't see a problem with graffiti (aerosol art) in general because I find it truly beautiful sometimes, just go to Berlin. The part I have a problem with is the 'tagging' where you just doodle your alias on weird or high risk places, sometimes even on other people's hard work and art. The tagging isn't art, that is vandalism in my eyes.

I think graffiti art should have a place in our cities, same goes with bead work and knitting on trees, lamp posts and signs. It makes the city alive and less grey. I always smile if I walk past a tree with a colourful knitted sock or a sign with a pearl sun.

For example Ystad (a city in Sweden) have invited artists to paint on the city's electrical cabinets. It makes them something noteworthy instead of grey square cabinets that doesn't uplift anyone. In general you see a lot of art in Ystad, for example the eye above the door below.

Text on right image: If you breathe slowly, I'll catch up
Photos: © Petite Caja

I think graffiti is as an important art form as photography and traditional painting. I believe that more cities should have legal walls for graffiti and other art forms or hire aerosol artists (and others) to spruce up the city look. I believe many electrical cabinets and tunnels can be places for creative artists both known and unknown of all ages.

What is your point of view? :)


  1. I agree with you, I love graffiti, not tagging...

  2. Hey caja, longtime reader first-time commenter, I think you are totally right on with your stance of street art being just as valid a form of artwork as any traditional medium and especially as valid as photography. ;) But I don't like your post for the simple reason you wrote a post about street art and didn't mention "the master". Thanks. I'll take your response off the air. :)


I'd love to read your thoughts on my scribbles. Feel free to share :) I will answer here on the blog.


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