Street Art or Graffiti?

What is the point of graffiti? Why spray-paint buildings with pointless words and random letters? Yes, I understand and admire street art but graffiti. Come on… if you guys want to decorate buildings why not make a proper job of it and give some pleasure?

Street art in Lagos
Street art in Lagos

This picture I admire and is pleasure to behold.

Street art in Lagos, Portugal
Street art in Lagos, Portugal

The inspiration for this post is thanks to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is “letters”.

What do you think of graffiti and the new street art craze?

13 thoughts on “Street Art or Graffiti?

Add yours

  1. One of the first things I loved about Portugal was the quality of the street art, awesome murals.


  2. Such a thought provoking question. It is in the eye of the beholder.
    Graffiti has been around for thousands of years. Starting with cave paintings. I have visited castles and Roman ruins and seen marks carved by people several hundreds of years ago. That was the graffiti of the day.
    In your photos – the letters are ‘tags’ which identify individuals. Looking at them in isolation they can be quite beautiful. I think ‘tagging’ is as basic as an animal marking it’s territory and these days there is very little opportunity for many young people to make any other mark in the world.
    I have seen the Lagos street art and think they are stunning.
    Street art has now become acceptable and even trendy. With many artists following the Banksy style.


  3. I like the second picture, the scribbles in the first photo I cannot classify as art… We had a big “show” of street art with a few national and international artists painting a few lanes and buildings, here in Perth a couple of weeks ago. I wrote about them in my last 2 or 3 blog posts. They aren’t all to my taste, but they do look artsy and clean.


  4. I completely agree with you, PiP. Random letters, which I guess mean something to someone, or a name scrawled across a building is not “art” to me. It’s defacement. There is some beautiful street art here in Santiago, but just as often, there is vandalism and it’s not restricted to abandoned buildings or crumbling walls. It’s sprayed across churches and patrimonial edifices too.


  5. This is a great two different sets of photos. I would say the second one is art – must have taken the artist(s) a few hours to do that, and on a step ladder or a stack of crates. But art can be literally anything, art is open to interpretation. It does look like graffiti and vandalism in the first photo, but I’m inclined to think the scribbles are also an expression of self and our thoughts 🙂


  6. Basically I am annoyed and oft disgusted by what some young bored hooligans get away with, but in certain cases [your picture No2] the ‘paintings/drawings’ can become an interesting addition to the particular environment. A blogger friend from San Miguel de Allende in Mexico sent me a whole volume of brilliant city scenes depicting local culture and religion which were such an addition to the cityscape. Horses for courses.


  7. Love the 2nd photo of the Street Art, PiP ~ obviously done by someone with talent who had something to say.

    Whereas graffiti is usually scribbled on walls when people want to say something, even though they have nothing worth saying. It’s like someone talking just to hear themselves talk.


  8. Hi Lisa, it’s a question I’ve been asking myself. I believe the first photograph is a good example. We have the detailed portrait picture of an old man compared to some random scribblings on either side 🙂


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