Graffiti is a form of mural art that is often illegal vandalism. However, graffiti is not a new phenomenon. The oldest known example of graffiti that exists today is approximately 4,000 years old and was found in an Egyptian mine. Through their graffiti, it is thought that these miners morphed Egyptian hieroglyphics into what later became some of the letters of the alphabet we use today (Himmelfarb). In our era, graffiti can result in property damage, the deterioration of quality of life, and may even encourage criminal activity.
Respond to all parts of the following questions:
What are your personal opinions about graffiti?
How has your personal experience formed these opinions?
Research graffiti and street art to find examples and themes that support your opinion about graffiti.
Some things to consider:
- Is graffiti ever valued as an art?
- Should graffiti be considered subversive, political, or counter-cultural its message or can it have other messages or meanings?
- How does the public placement of graffiti make it different from other art forms?
- Who is the viewer and how might their experience be different than that of a traditional art setting like a museum or gallery?
- Does graffiti play a positive role in modern society?
- Who benefits from graffiti and who does not?