Argumentative Essay On Graffiti In Banksy

Argumentative Essay On Graffiti In Banksy

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Lina Qi
Mr. Landow
AP Lang 4th Hour
16 December 2017
Redefining Graffiti In the Age of Banksy
In a city that hoards almost two miles of graffiti covered walls, St. Louis is the embodiment of modern day acceptance of an art still labeled as ‘vandalism’ and ‘illegal.’ Every year, over 200 individual graffiti artists come from all over the country to participate in Paint Louis, a city sanctioned event, where the approved applications are given adequate space to paint on the mural. This current turnaround of appreciation towards graffiti demonstrates the breakthrough recognition of an underground art made prominent, especially with the news of Banksy’s Keeping it Spotless work sold for a whopping $1.7 millions dollars. Graffiti, as defined by the process of placing drawings on a wall, can be considered as an art form, fully embracing humanistic expression.
Anyone could be an artist. All it takes is a hand to paint the surface or sculpt the clay. By all accounts, if this is true, then why are art museums so notoriously elitist in their choosing of an artwork to display? Perhaps this can be drawn back to the surprisingly long historical roots of graffiti. The etymology and origins of ‘graffiti’ is actually derived from the Italian word grafficar. Graffiti is actually the plural form of this word, which connotes “drawings, markings, patterns, scribbles, or messages that are painted, written, or carved on a wall or surface” (Stowers). Recently, a study found that the oldest known artwork in the world, an image of a hand, is actually spray painted graffiti in Indonesia, not Spain. This finding seems to surpasses the assumption that humans were not self-aware of their surroundings until 37,000 years ago. Instead, the 39,900 year old piece...


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...intent is still there, but the road to the destination may be different. Evidently, these unique characteristics pave the passage to a truly innovative and avant-garde form of art that can generate substantial value to the audience.
With such a rich history behind an art often written off as a public nuisance, graffiti is continually being established true mode of artistic expression. A culture within itself, graffiti has grown from a group of rebellious teenagers in New York to a now legalized activity in Rio on non historical city property (the government even issued a 30,000 square foot mural called ‘The Ethnicities’ for the Olympics) . Exhibiting the unheard voices, graffiti in many cases is considered a legitimate form of expression, bringing those who walk along the same walls closer together. Maybe it is these voices that hold the untold truths of humanity.

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