hel·low (ˈhelō/) exclamation. A salutation embodying the vibrant energy found in the color yellow.

06 February 2014

Reclaiming Urban Vandalism

It all begins with a bucket of chalk. A small child, bright-eyed and eager to express itself, defaces the concrete of its parents' driveway or the neighborhood sidewalk. Vandalism.

Sure, these cute, pretty little drawings seem harmless. Pink flowers and rainbows and unicorns and suns with smiley faces. The typical symbols of peace and innocence. They are the bearers of greater things. Praised by their parents and elders for artistic expression. Seen to be aspiring creators in coming years. Temporary now, this chalk may one day become paint and forever deface public property. And suddenly, those proud parents and elders are no longer praising.

Praise should be given onto them. To sidewalk drawings, graffiti is the Monet to coloring books. True graffiti is spray paint on public property. It paints a city and gives it character. Of course, alternatives to this have been developed that leave no lasting mark, such as beautiful tri-dimensional chalk art on city streets.


Perhaps the beauty in this medium is the fact that it's temporary. Rain could wash away all the hours of work in a matter of moments. If this is where the beauty lies, then artists must maintain a special quality. The creators of these are exceptional people. However, the creation of most art revolves around the longevity of the artist born through their piece. Graffiti can give incentive to creators to create. If given a purpose, perhaps graffiti could be turned into something more than vandalism.

Is there a way to encourage artists to create urban art via graffiti? Should we hire graffiti artists? Sides of buildings could be forms of graffiti advertisement like the college campus rock. The unstated word is not to paint over another group's painting for a day. This form of system would give cities a new direction.


Advertisements could become a variety of respected art, something that is no longer devalued by commercialism. By hiring graffiti artists as opposed to advertising industries, freelance creators could make a living out of their passion. The consequences of putting to use the great talent of graffiti artists could result in a large societal shift that favors the pursuit of artistic interests. Parents would be able to continue encouraging their children in their urban vandalism. Graffiti, as a respected form of art, could reclaim the word "vandalism."

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