Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Art or Vandalism

So this week, the discussion in Art Exploratory has been the idea of when does graffiti or tagging become art?

Some of the most beautiful art I have ever seen has been on the trains that travel the tracks of my home town in between St. Louis and Chicago. Vibrant color, beautiful imagery, art that makes you think. But the question is, is it art or vandalism?

My students decided the following criteria. Art can tell stories, lets us use our imaginations, gives us ideas, and makes us think. Graffiti which does this, is quite beautiful and is art. If tagging or graffiti is used to hurt or destroy, or is used to identify gangs or groups in a negative light, then it seems to no longer be any form of art.

My students studied the work of artists like Keith Haring and modern graffiti artists for inspiration. After looking at this style of art they used to make their own words or phrases, to become comfortable with the line and shape and color used in this form of art. We then sat down and started designing work. They are able to create their piece on paper, but are also allowed to bring in actual materials such as furniture to create their design. I am anxious to see what they produce.

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