Tuesday 16 August 2011

Art or Vandalism

As my son has spent part of the day making a stencil of his face for his Graphics homework and another part spraying large graffiti letters on the back of my shed, this is a topic close to my heart.

It is a curious question that even local councils struggle to answer whilst cleaning some graffiti off walls and at the same time protecting anything sprayed by Banksy with perspex sheets!

                                                      Graffiti removers Southbank

I have to admit to being a lover of street art, the vibrance and edginess of it. At the same time, I hate to see names and words (usually rude ones) artlessly scrawled around the neighbourhood.
 I can't help but admire the guts it must take to climb to some of the less accessible places graffiti writers challenge themselves with. On the other hand, I wouldn't break the law myself and can't really condone trespassing.
                                                              Leake Street, London

It offers a challenge to my parenting skills too. My husband and I are proud of and encourage our teenage son's artistic talent. We help to immerse him in the vitality of a world of street art, photography, zines, skateboarding, BMXing, parkour and music. We have had to draw a strict boundary over which he is not allowed to cross. He understands that defacing private property without permission has consequences beyond being grounded and losing computer rights. For now, he channels his talents into making teeshirts, sketchbooks and repainting my shed!

                                                            Skate park Southbank


  1. it depends where it is for me to consider art or not.
    there is a garage here in town full of graffiti, it's super cool.

  2. How wonderful that you encourage your sons artistic talents in this way, so many would see it as just vandalsim but as you say it's all artisitc expression and some of the 'graffiti' is amazing. Unfortunately a few make a bad name for the majority by using private property - you must have the coolest shed in town by the way!!! Di x

  3. Di- he is limited to the back of the shed as lots of younger boys come in the garden and I don't want them getting the wrong idea!

  4. i love the bright colours but at the same time its still usually private property :/ i think i would have less of a problem if people around here were not tagging things with swear words and drawings of groups of penis'

  5. I know what you mean Jennifer!
    The graffiti in the pictures was done legally

  6. Interesting subject - I was actually just having this conversation with a
    friend the other day!

    My take on it is this - there is a HUGE difference between badly drawn genitalia or artlessly scrawled variations of "Daz woz ere" on the back of a bus seat, and carefully and beautifully depicted street art.

    There's something that I love about the idea of creating a bright, vibrant painting onto an otherwise plain or ugly wall. Who says art always has to be in galleries? :)