Sample essay topic, essay writing: Graffiti - 945 words

GRAFFITI: A VISUAL DIALOUGEGraffiti: term applied to the arrangement of institutionally illicit marks in which there has been an attempt by an individual or group of individuals (usually not professional artists) to display upon a wall or surface that is usually visually accessible to the public. Even if one has never seen graffiti before, a negative image would probably pop into one's mind after reading this definition. Graffiti is not only a work of art, it also includes the underground culture that surrounds and reveres that art. Graffiti has been found in early societies, but is most commonly associated with modern, urban environments. Modern Graffiti originated in the 1970's, just as the hip-hop scene began to explode.

The first modern graffiti artist-referred to as a writer, lived in New York City, and had the nickname Tacki 183. Tacki 183 was responsible for creating an underground artistic revolution that has influenced popular culture. Graffiti has spread across America and over seas. Some of the most widely revered writers come from Germany, England, and Italy. Even at its inception, graffiti was considered illegal

It was thought to be vandalism at the time, and it still is today. Even though graffiti has gained massive popularity and acceptance, many people are still ignorant about what it actually is. Not all graffiti is gang-related. Some gangs use graffiti to mark territory or to post threats. Gang graffiti accounts for an estimated 5% of all graffiti.

Many public officials feel that if the walls and streets are bare, they must be safe. This mentality is not only ignorant, but it is also unsupported. Gang-related graffiti was more popular in the past. But because of its pseudo-affiliation with gang activity, police crack down hard on writers. Writers can face fines and even jail time for expressing themselves with spray paint. The tactic many police departments employ to stop graffiti is to paint over graffiti-ridden walls.

Little do they know that this only provides a blank wall for other writers, and often has little or no affect. Because graffiti is illegal, writers must choose to cover their identities with a nickname. Some of the more famous Atlanta area writers are Crisis, Haze, and Rem. Writers often go to drastic measures to create what they call "pieces". The term piece is derived from the word "masterpiece".

A large piece can take 5-10 hours to complete. Although most graffiti is considered illegal, a few legal yards exist. A yard is a popular place to create graffiti. A yard could be a parking deck, abandoned warehouse, freight train yard, or a basketball court. The graffiti community looks down upon and condemns writing on private property like a home, school, or store.

This is more along the lines of vandalism, and it makes the entire graffiti community look bad. Tags differ from a piece much like a sketch differs from an oil painting. A tag is just a scribble written in exaggerated cursive. Pieces are often referred to as murals. They are in fact, just that.

Pieces can be elaborate works, often including characters or other images. One of the most favorite media of the graffiti artist is a subway train or a freight car. These media provide a writer with an opportunity to display their work across a large territory. Because the work is not stationary, many people get to view the work. Because of the illegal nature of graffiti, a paint brush and paint can are highly impractical.

Because of spatial reasons, a pencil is inefficient. The logical choice for creating graffiti is a spray paint can. They are portable and easily concealed, and they also meet the requirements of spatial and time constraints. Different nozzle sizes help the writer to achieve a certain look or style. A writer has the opportunity to choose how elaborate or simple he or she wants to make a piece.

If a piece is done in an elaborate, intertwined style, the writer is probably not directing a message to the general public. More likely, the writer is showing off his or her skills. Most gang graffiti uses a special code that only that gang's members know and can interpret. However, if the piece is simple and easily read, the writer probably wanted the public to see his or her message. Many writers create graffiti not only as an art, but also to display personal, political, and social messages. Some writers just like a simpler look, while others prefer a more hectic and elaborate style. Many writers devote their entire lives to creating graffiti.

Writers are just like any other artist. They paint because they can't stop. They are passionate about what they do. Graffiti is unique because it is just about the only art form that is illegal. Some have called graffiti a "visual dialogue", and that term really captures the essence of the art and of the culture surrounding it. Graffiti is a language all by itself.

Even though some graffiti is accepted and admired by some art critics, as a whole it is considered low art. If graffiti were to be hanging in a museum or a gallery, it would not be graffiti anymore. Graffiti is an urban art form, it is something that a museum would not be able to capture or do justice to. Graffiti would loose its urban flavor and meaning if it were to be removed from the streets. Writers create graffiti because they love it. Graffiti is the language of the hip-hop culture.

Graffiti is just as much a lifestyle as it is an art form. Because it is illegal, people are ignorant about it. And because people are ignorant about it, it is illegal.

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