Art or Not: The Constant Debate Concerning Graffiti

People perceive art in many different ways. What some consider as art may not be appreciated by others. In the case of graffiti, there is a dichotomy since there are individuals who believe that graffiti defaces public properties, while there are some who believe that this is art.

What is graffiti? Graffiti is the term used to describe drawings, paintings or any writings on the surfaces of buildings or even on the streets. Many types of materials are used in creating graffiti, and the most popular are spray paints and markers of different colors.

Is graffiti art? Some individuals may consider this as art as people have different preferences regarding what is beautiful to them or not. In the case of graffiti, most that are on public properties are considered as writings or drawings that deface public property for which those responsible may be imprisoned for malicious destruction of property. Hence, graffiti on public properties is usually considered as vandalism.

Do people who draw graffiti go to jail? Some have gone to jail. Graffiti costs businesses as well as public agencies millions of dollars each year. It is usually classified as a criminal act because graffiti is often painted on the surfaces of buildings that are owned by others, wherein the painter of the graffiti did not seek the consent of the property owner.

If a place has graffiti, does it mean that there are gangs in the area? Many are concerned because certain types of graffiti have been linked to gang activity or presence in a certain area. This may be true in some places, but not in others.

Other issues regarding graffiti are prevention and removal. Below are a few tips.

How to Prevent Graffiti

– Use anti-graffiti coating on walls Wax coatings, like Graffiti Off or Graffiti Magic, are generally known as protective coatings that can be used to make sure that graffiti paint won’t stick on walls. There are also anti-marker pen paints. Though these coatings may be quite expensive, people can save in the long run. How? This won’t require people to hire cleaners or pressure washer experts to clean off the graffiti as the waxy coatings allow property owners to clean off graffiti easily, using only water and mild cleaning agents.

– Use sacrificial coatings Sacrificial coatings are those that can easily be removed in case a surface gets painted on. These kinds of coatings are cheaper than permanent protective coatings. But people can save more when using protective coatings as this removes the hassle and cost of hiring professional cleaners to remove paint on walls.

– Opt for uneven or rough surfaces Property owners can choose to have uneven surfaces instead of building a smooth surface, which often attracts vandals. It’s harder to draw on a bumpy surface.

– Increase awareness regarding the consequences of vandalism Many individuals who vandalize other people’s properties are in their teens. These young adults can be rehabilitated through education and awareness. It will be very helpful to explain to them how their actions affect others and how they can be prosecuted when caught defacing other people’s property.

How to Remove Graffiti

– Paint over a graffiti

– Wash immediately It is best to remove or wash graffiti immediately to prevent paint from drying on a surface. Many types of equipment can be used to get rid of graffiti on walls, including pressure washers or sandblasters. Graffiti can also be scrubbed off using bleach and other cleaning agents. But before washing it off, take a picture of the graffiti for documentation and police reports.


The article is by Claire Duvall, a freelance writer who specializes in criminal and personal injury issues. She writes for many renowned lawyers and websites like, where people can get information about many vital legal issues.

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