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May paintings and art displays have been seen in a negative light.
It may also be creative, done with care and concern for visual effect, and evocative of great emotional reaction in the beholder. It certainly can be, and usually is, although because of the frequent vandal nature of most graffiti, most people don't think of it in artistic terms.
There are several businesses in my city that I can think of off the top of my head that actually paid graffiti artists to paint murals on their wall facing the street 1) so they might not be "tagged" with random or gang graffiti and 2) because it helps them fit in with the urban neighborhood they are located in.
Defacing someone else's property without their permission with even the most beautiful tagging is vandalism, and perhaps trespassing.
However, with the proper permissions, colorful graffitti in public areas which would otherwise be dull and lifeless can be beautiful.
The relationship between this definition and the definition of art listed in post 2 is fairly straightforward.
Graffiti may be haphazard, random, destructive, and/or vulgar.Occasionally Graffiti is executed in a place and manner that it evokes positive emotions, delivers a valuable message, and appeals to the eye. Yes, there are true Graffiti artists..we have all seen their work.Unfortunately, there are also antisocial vandals who are responsible for most Graffiti seen in public places. Of course, painting graffiti on a wall or other area without authorization is a crime, or vandalism. If someone painted a traditional painting on the side of a building it would also be considered vandalism.Graffiti was never a serious problem before the invention of canned spray paint.Painting pictures and lettering on other people's buildings is a crime, and there can be little doubt that most the painting is done with spray paint that was obtained by shoplifting, which is another crime.I have suggested that there ought to be a "nuisance tax" imposed on every can of spray paint sold.The revenue could be used to repair some of the damaged buildings, and it would create badly needed jobs. I can't appreciate a wall defaced with spray paint even if the vandalism shows some artistic talent.We recently offered our students a documentary of the foundations of graffiti art, the people behind it, and the reasons for its existence.It was actually quite an enriching and informational piece of media.The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.Therefore, according to the definition above, graffiti is an art form.