The Graffiti Art history in the Modern Cities Portrayed as Vandalism

“Ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable; in weakened sense barbarous, ignorant or inartistic treatment” is what is defined as vandalism in the Oxford English Dictionary (fourth edition). The definition of vandalism, to me, ties in with the thought of graffiti. Graffiti is the kind of “art” we encounter on the trains, in the city, on walls and almost anywhere and is done by spray paint bottles, however many argue weather it is art or pure vandalism. In this paper, I will argue that graffiti is vandalism because it destroys property such as residential property, it causes Chicagoans to pay taxes for repairs such as covering up unwanted graffiti, and it encourages others to tag their “gang” name for ownership causing rivalry or possibly violence between communities and the boundaries between the communities.

For starters graffiti is vandalism because it is ruthless destruction. Vandalism is the spoiling of anything beautiful and therefore I believe that graffiti artists should not just spoil beautiful property.

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Allen Tyson, a resident on the West Side, argued against graffiti artist and that they are vandals. After getting his garage vandalized, not once but twice, he stated, “I find it offensive to call these guys artist…I don’t think they deserve to be called artist when they’re destroying public property”. Whether the property has ownership or not I believe that it isn’t acceptable for graffiti artists to draw on other property. Almost all property has ownership and it isn’t acceptable, in my point of view, to be vandalizing others property.

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People have the right over their property and it wouldn’t be acceptable to have others draw graffiti on owned property.

Having graffiti artist vandalize private property not only destroys others property but it leads to high repair costs. Graffiti artists should be respectful to others’ property. It’s quite ignorant as well to paint or draw graffiti on public property others spent time to make those places look nice there is no need to ruin it by graffiti. In addition to having property vandalized comes the consequence of paying for the repairs. According to Art Of The City Tells City’s Tale By Phat X. Chiem, “…CTA continues to spend about $20 million annually to fight graffiti elsewhere”. As stated by Chiem, CTA spends a few million dollars every year just to pay for the repairs of reckless graffiti artists who spray paint wherever they want to and that goes back to vandalism and how graffiti artists eventually cause CTA to pay for the repairs of graffiti on the train and tunnels.

The CTA is not the only organization that has to pay for repairs this goes even to individuals who get their property vandalized, such as their garage doors or even homes. These costs should go to the graffiti artists not the victims. It’s not quite fair that the actions of graffiti artists are the costs of the residents of the area in which these graffiti artists are drawing on. Graffiti not only causes high cost to repair the property that was vandalized but also it causes graffiti artist to tag their gangs for ownership of that property causing possibly rivalry. According to Chiem, “… Taggers who simply want to spray their signature across as many public surfaces as possible”.

Taggers are identified as those who spray their signature or logo, or whatever it might be to represent their “gang”, across public surfaces. In other terms, if taggers keep tagging their “gang” logo or signature across as many public places as possible this will soon begin to stir up rivalry between other taggers or other “gangs” which will eventually cause possible violence. Graffiti is bad because it only stirs up trouble across gangs and rivals across the city. In other words, graffiti only causes trouble, cost of repairs and vandalism across public property. Graffiti artists need to be more aware of all the money that it is costing CTA.

Not only that but they need to be aware that tagging causes rivalry by tagging on other people’s property or other gang property which can possibly lead to violence between neighboring communities. Last but not least graffiti is just pure vandalism because it is destroying public property that has ownership, and public property should be respected. Public property is for every one to enjoy, it is to be seen for what it is. A wall should only be seen as a wall, and a building should be seen as a building, there is a place for everything but a wall or a garage door or even a business building isn’t the place for graffiti. Graffiti of all kind should have it’s place, but it’s not on public property unless it is done by consent, and I by that I mean that the area which is being vandalized is actually being permitted to be drawn on which for a fact will be a few number of places.

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The Graffiti Art history in the Modern Cities Portrayed as Vandalism. (2022, Nov 06). Retrieved from

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