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Making Sense Of Graffity In The Modern World

1746 words - 7 pages

In the performance of life, one cultural representation that captivates and entrances people more fluently and describes the human experience more eloquently is that of artistic expression. It imposes itself unto the face of society through the individual who creates it as a reflection of any one or combination of personal, emotional, or physiological effects society or one’s own environment has inflicted onto them to compel them convey their feelings to the public. The essential argument, is whether graffiti has a place in the grand context of society. One end of the spectrum paints it as a nuisance to property owners and city officials allow for a criminal perspective of the practice. While at another end you can view it as the artist in a sense blessing others with the fruits of their inner consciousness. An artistic expression no matter what the viewpoint of society, in an anthropological context graffiti is essential to modern society and its impact is one that cannot be forgotten or lived without.
To make sense of graffiti’s place in the modern world, one must understand the aesthetic relationship that is held between artists and their work. Creating graffiti or as defined by Webster dictionary as: “pictures or paintings drawn on a wall or building etc…” is subjective (“Graffiti”). This definition implies the inexplicit nature to what graffiti really is. In that respect the chalk teachers use on blackboards or the markers that are used to etch formulas on whiteboards are nothing less than graffiti in as well. In terms of those who take the concept of it as a serious craft it is something heavily revered and as such is expressed by the outward action of displaying it to the world. In Ben Belitt’s poetic musing entitled Graffiti, he describes the experience of feeling and evaluating an already existing piece of graffiti in which he will be covering. “…the reds and the greens of a tapeworm cartography stinting the windows with a knifegrinder’s emery hiss,” (Belitt 214). In this musing he is expressing his passion for the colors and shapes and seeing them blossom into collective pieces of other’s passion becomes almost transcendentalist, in that to understand the nature of graffiti’s place in the larger context is to first analyze the process that governs the human experience to make artist create grafftit. In this instance, to him the colors and shapes form not just a snake on a window but each element comprises a story that someone felt they needed to express with the world, a story he felt the need to cover up. Just as people wish to be remembered through their contributions to society through philanthropic endeavors and good deeds, graffiti artist wish to be remembered by the art they leave behind. Location is one of the biggest factors in this and in this particular spot with this red and green tapeworm Belitt chooses to impose his own will. “So I struck with the felt of my marker. I struck. I struck at the windows. I struck under the...

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