The Blurred Line Between Street Art & Graffiti


The term street art for many is inter-changeable with graffiti and the vandals that deface public property. But the difference sometimes, is all to obvious and whilst street art tries to elevate a space or area that would otherwise go unnoticed, graffiti – and in particular – taggers vandalise it.

We want to differentiate taggers with graffiti artists. Those that pride themselves on their spray technique, or can control & not use a stencil, as many street artists do – see Banksy. It’s these Graffiti Artists/Writers that on occasion collaborate with Street Artists and increase the dissociation with the tags and coded messages that the general public associate all graffiti with.

Morgan Davy & Vesna Parchet
Morgan Davy & Vesna Parchet

The Legal Wall along St. Georges Walk – The Arts Quarter (now relocated to the hoarding around Taberner House plot) – is a good example of the battle between street art and graffiti taggers. An area set aside for anyone to leave their mark, often with some outstanding examples of what can be achieved with a couple of cans of spray and with the public’s growing appreciation for street art the desire for creativity of the craft is growing.

Berlin “The East Side Gallery” is a good of example of the blurred lines separating street art and graffiti and is hugely prolific in generating confusion in what is and can be acceptable with the Police becoming concerned with the legal murals being defaced by vandals.

Graffiti has historically been seen as anti-establishment but the message has become increasingly vague – see below – and harmful to the genuinely talented and creative street artists and whilst I find the majority of street art acceptable many have become disingenuous or cynical, using it as an example of urban decay and not its redemption.

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Featured CRO Street Artists

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3 thoughts on “The Blurred Line Between Street Art & Graffiti

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