Graffit Art or Vandalism?

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Artistic expression is all around us. Yet it’s mostly in the form of product promotion on billboards, posters etc. Independent art sometimes catches your attention, out of the corner of your eye, as you pass it in your vehicle. It breaks up the disciplined, highly-regimented lines and colors of corporate logos and storefront banners. It’s the occasional mural on the side of a building. It’s the 10 foot burner, on a vacant structure, that spells out a name you can’t quite read, in dynamic, vibrant colors. It’s the posters stuck to the front side of a fence advertising music groups performing somewhere. These are the bursts of artistic expression which can subliminally inspire us.

Frequently though, what some call independent art usually looks more like annoying, barely creative, vandalism. What some would call art, stands scrawled out in monochrome, unintelligibly defacing what was otherwise, a perfectly beautiful piece of construction. Yes. Well-designed architecture and uniform digitized graphics on store awnings is art too. It’s just not as free form. It is not as independent in thought or creation. It is not as organic as good Graffiti Art. But it still has its place. And when the two compete; street art vs. uniform architecture; sometimes both lose. You end up with a dilapidated building with whack-ass toy small ‘g’, graffiti scrawled all over it.

Still, artists and art lovers everywhere can appreciate these examples of art in the real world put to practical use. Art, like these building murals shown here, increase the esthetic value of public spaces. Some may even become landmark attractions which also increase the financial value of an area because of tourism.

Kurt Nice

Kurt Nice aka Kurtiss Jackson is a behind the scenes pioneer in the Hip Hop Kulture, creating the first nationally distributed video mix tape series, Shades of Hip Hop, in the late 1990s. Since touring the country with the Stop the Violence Movement and the Temple of Hip Hop as KRS-ONE’s National Marketing Director, Kurt Nice has been a constant commentator on conscious Hip Hop and its relevance to the new rap music of today, through radio and cable appearances. contact Kurt at

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