Art Industry Issue Essay
Art Industry Issue
Graffiti originated in New York in the late 1970s. It started off with locals writing their names on walls and subway train just for fame. Before and after that though there were other types of graffiti such as political statements. Graffiti these days is mostly “tagging” which is the act of marking a surface with a quick scrawl, stencils are common in the city and large aerosol pieces are usually found alongside train lines. The main issue dealing with graffiti these days is how to prevent it. At the same time there are parties that argue we need graffiti and it is an important form of art.
Most people trying to prevent graffiti are usually only against the art being produced illegally, that is on private property without permission of the owner. The main argument against graffiti is that it is mainly tagging and it has no brains behind it all. None of it has any meaning. It is so called art that is only for the hip-hop community. The tags make everything look disgusting because it is messy and unreadable. It gives the impression that the councils do not care. It costs around $200,000 a year to remove from walls and public transport, this money could be better spent.
Graffiti is a crime and attracts more crime and gangs. Owners that have had their property vandilised by graffiti artists would want to move some where else. Graffiti on shop windows is bad business. There have been a range of ideas presented to support graffiti in a good way and prevent it from occurring illegally. Ideas already in practice are Designating “high tolerance zones” in lanes in Melbourne CBD (Central Business District), such as Hosier Lane. The purpose of high tolerance zones is to keep graffiti on the streets and not remove it.
Artists will be attracted to use the lane to exhibit their art instead of commercial and public buildings. ?Legal murals have been encouraged by councils. This aims keep people interested in the graffiti style of art but on a legal level. ?Exhibitions are held frequently at places such as Kent Street Cafe’s Early Space and the Meatmarket that show graffiti related art work and art done by present and former graffiti artist. Artwork on exhibition is hardly ever tagging, but other forms of graffiti such a stencils, stickers, posters and aerosol pieces.
This is aiming to move graffiti art from a street level to a professional level that can be used in the art industry. Councils aim to remove fresh graffiti from public transport within 24 hours. This aims to lower vandals moral and send the message that what they do will not stay so there is no point in doing it. Debates on whether or not graffiti is an actual art and what to do to prevent arise in newspapers. In articles such as Graffiti Crimes from The Age (Melbourne) magazine and Graffiti Plan Ridiculous from the MX paper the writers have very aggressive and unfriendly tones.
In Graffiti Plan Ridiculous the writer is actually attacking a writer of a previous letter that suggested everyone entering the CBD must show ID and proof of address. The idea goes with out saying that is ridiculous. There was really no need to lunch an attack just for suggesting it. This shows that tempers are wearing thin on the issue and it is creating a lot of hostility. The article A Display Of Culture by Renae Payne shows the contention of graffiti artists that consider the art as an important part of youth and hip-hop culture. All the artists are in favor of getting legal support from councils.
PERSONAL OPINION ? James Borg I think that graffiti is an art, always has been and always will be. The same can be argued about Marcel Duchamp’s Urinal as it is not a traditional form of art and can be seen as an insult. If a urinal or scribble on a wall can be art then any thing can be art. Something becomes art when it is taken out of context. In the case of graffiti, in all its forms, text and images that are made to be contained on paper and private places are put onto public surfaces. Just because I think graffiti is a form of art does not mean it is not ugly.
I think some art in galleries can be very ugly, just because I don’t like the look of it doesn’t mean everyone does not like it. I have very high expectations of graffiti art. The placement of graffiti art is crucial. The high-tolerance zones are a good idea because all the good art is concentrated in one spot, any one can add their own work to it and no one gets in trouble. Legal murals everywhere are the best because the graffiti does not have to be secluded to a small lane and it encourages more legal murals. Legal murals hardly get vandalised.
Illegal graffiti in certain areas definitely destroys the area in a lot of ways. If a wall gets crowded with graffiti it will attract more graffiti, some times of much lower quality. Some times better artists will add their work. Either way the public do not want to see it. I can not say I would like or not. If it were just tags I wouldn’t, depends on what it looks like. Fences that run parallel with train lines are constantly being graffitied. Artists want their work on these walls because people hundreds of people catch the train everyday and see their work.
If these walls were legalised the amount of illegal graffiti would probably be reduced by more than half. There are a lot of already legal walls on the train line and most of the time artists ask the owner if their wall can be painted. This should be encouraged. I like the whole style of the graffiti pieces and the elements used. I am not concerned about trying to get illegal graffiti recognised as a professional art form in the industry. Graffiti was meant to be illegal, that’s the whole point of it. Illegal work will never be appreciated totally by critics because there are too many negatives.
Art works in galleries that are based on graffiti might look good but technically it is not graffiti. I will support it as long as it stays creative. I have pretty much grown out of liking graffiti anyway because it is all the same really. I realised that it does more harm than good and it has lost its meaning, even though it started off putting a name up for fame. Stencil art is good but a lot of it lacks skill and originality. The only way illegal graffiti artists will get properly recognised is by doing legal work.