Street art is “an amorphous beast encompassing art” (Art Radar Asia) which sometimes is regarded as an annoyance or as an act of vandalism; but most often, it is considered as a means of expressing disapproval about social or political issues prevailing in the society. This aspect of expressing dissent and using art to ask questions from the public or the government makes street art a form of public art. It is actually one of the most convenient means for the public to show to the superiors what they are going through and what they want. People use street art to keep the “dialogue going” (Finkelpearl, qt. in Art Radar Asia) between people and the government. It is in no way vandalism because vandalism means destroying private or public property intentionally. Street art does not destroy property rather it tends to enhance the beauty of street through colors and images (Pennycook 59, para 2). People find it interesting, capture images and discuss them with curiosity. This makes them ponder over what is the idea behind. Some people also call it as a nondestructive form of vandalism but that is also not fair. There are no nondestructive forms of vandalism. Vandalism is always destructive in nature. Truth is that public art itself is always vulnerable to vandalism (Merryman, Elsen and Urice 441). However, permission or legality is one thing that changes the perspective (Gibson and Pendlebury 148, para. 3). If street art is done through permission of the owner of the property, then it is public art; and, if permission has not been granted, then street art cannot be justified and then we cannot stop people from calling it vandalism.
Art Radar Asia. “What is Street Art?” Art Radar Asia, 2011. Web. 18 Apr 2011. <http://artradarjournal.com/2010/01/21/what-is-street-art-vandalism-graffiti-or-public-art-part-i/>.
Gibson, Lisanne, and John R. Pendlebury. Valuing Historic Environments. United Kingdom, UK: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2009.
Merryman, John Henry, Elsen, Albert Edward, and Stephen K. Urice. “Public Art and Moral Rights.” Law, Ethics, and the Visual Art. United Kingdom, UK: Kluwer Law International, 2007.
Pennycook, Alastair. “The Linguistic Landscapability of Locality.” Language as a Local Practice. USA: Taylor & Francis, 2010.
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