Graffiti has become a controversial subject as some regard it as an art form while others think of it as vandalism. In fact, in most countries, marking or painting property without permission is considered by civic authorities and property owners as defacement and vandalism. Vandalism is a punishable crime in some countries as the use of graffiti by street gangs to mark territory is not permitted. Graffiti is seen as a growing urban "problem" for many cities in industrialized countries where it is thought to be an eyesore or a blight on the community.
However, attitudes towards graffiti began to change throughout the 20th century, and today it is now often referred to as “Urban Street Art”. Graffiti’s roots and evolution from art crime has made it an important part of our history, encouraging people to embrace the artwork depicted in their city. People who create graffiti consider themselves artists who express themselves on the public canvas producing some of the most imaginative, beautiful and poignant street art, with the blessing of property owners and communities.
Some graffiti is considered to be similar to community murals and imparts a sense of pride within the community. Street art is used to decorate empty public spaces to make people feel more involved in the social life of the community.
In Australia, many cities now have designated areas or walls exclusively for graffitists in an effort to reduce vandalism. For example, students at the Camperdown Campus of the University of Sydney are able to tag, advertise, poster, and create "art" at the "Graffiti Tunnel" located there; this discourages petty vandalism but encourages artists to take their time to produce great art, without worrying about being caught or arrested for vandalism or trespassing.
Some cities, including Amsterdam and Berlin, embrace graffiti as a cultural asset and tourists are given tours of the highlights. London is said to be one of the world’s largest locations for collectable street art; local artists have decorated areas with captivating artwork.
Graffiti can have a strong social as well as political connotation in many parts of the world and can be a reflection of the country’s culture as it attracts more people to view the creative, colourful displays which were inspired by the artists.
For many people who are members of both the art and design communities’ graffiti has provided them with a steppingstone to the art world. Many artists have made careers creating graffiti for skateboard, apparel, and shoe design for companies such as DC Shoes, Adidas, Rebel8 and Osiris.
An Australian record has been set for the sale of a Banksy print with the anonymous artist’s Love Is In the Air in 2003. It was sold at auction for nearly $200,000 by an in America. The image is one of Banksy’s best-known contemporary resonance painted on a wall near Beit Sahour, a Palestinian town on the West Bank.
I’ve had the privilege of watching first-hand Dino’s work which he created around the local area in Bellfield and Ivanhoe.
Dino is a street and graffiti artist from Colombia who lives in Melbourne. Unfortunately the image below was graffitied and as as result had to replace it by Dino tilt mural.