This week’s Artist of the Week was different from all the past ones because we got to watch a documentary on the artist themselves, instead of learning about it through the professor’s video. It never occurred to me that graffiti had a birthplace so it was pretty cool to learn about cornbread who was the founder of graffiti.
I thought it was really interesting that they correlated graffiti to cave art. After learning about cave art in great detail from the previous week, I definitely agree that graffiti is influenced by cave art. I think the statement “Humans have been identifying themselves and their human culture on walls for forever” is very accurate, however I think times have changed so it’s not the most valid justification for doing graffiti on the walls of privately owned property. In prehistoric times, people wrote on cave walls because it was the only canvas they had available. In modern times, we have canvases that people can buy to draw on, so it’s looked down upon to graffiti, especially privately owned property.
I never knew the details that go into graffiti. Before watching this video and doing further research on my own, I had no idea there are different styles of graffiti. When the artists were explaining the different styles, and you could see how much passion they had for the art, it made me realize not all graffiti artists are out there doing graffiti just to cause damage. However, there a lot of graffiti is indeed centered around gang violence and destruction.
After watching the video I thought back to the response to the professors question where we challenged us to pick a stance on when it is okay to graffiti. In conclusion of my response I stated:
“I think regardless of what it is, if someone is doing graffiti over some else’s personal property it is vandalism. I’m sure any illegal graffiti artist who believes it’s okay to tag someone else’s property would not feel the same if someone came and tagged their personal property that they find value in. Just because someone doesn’t see value in a private business’s wall, that doesn’t devalue the personal value that building has for the owner.”
After watching the video I still feel the same. However, I have a new-found appreciation for graffiti art, and I think it’s a beautiful way of expression and story-telling. Seeing all the different styles and stories from some of the greatest graffiti artist in the nation really helped me understand how intentional and diligent graffiti is. Regardless of my personal views from a legal standpoint, I still have respect for the art. In addition, after doing the activity where I did graffiti for the first time, I can understand and appreciate why many people choose to graffiti.