Graffiti: Art or vandalism?

Graffiti has long been a discussion involving much contempt and creativity. Some people see it as an artistic output, and others see it as criminal activity that should be curtailed.

Ever since the bohemian revolution in the 19th century it has become more and more predominant in our society. One of the most intriguing artists is Banksy, an anonymous street art creator who has become world famous. One of his most famous murals – Brexit in Dover – could possibly be removed with the current political climate.

Sunderland even has its own variation of artists such as Eyes (sometimes spelt Eyez) who started in the 1990s. Some of his work can be seen in our video.

We even asked some people around Sunderland what their views were on the subject and the predominant feeling is that it is an even split between creativity and vandalism. However, graffiti has been around since ancient times – even Roman and Ancient Egyptians did it, some of which can be clearly seen on the Great Pyramid of Giza.

It seems to be an intrinsic part of our civilisation whether it is good or bad that we express ourselves in such a way. It may be an underlying need to leave our mark just to prove to others that we have been there like one such Roman that wrote graffiti in Latin, “LUCIUS PINXIT”… Translation: “Lucius wrote this.”

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