Opinion

The prohibition of graffiti is a travesty

The political season is in full swing, and that means so many regurgitated news and politically themed stories stuffed down your throat that, like Adam Levine, it’s getting harder and harder to breathe. So, exhale the political BS for a moment or two and inhale the sweet toxins of the most ridiculous thing to be illegal since alcohol in 1917 – graffiti. 

Graffiti, to me, is the loudest way that an artist can really represent himself and truly be heard nowadays. With so many means of expression – from writing to drawing to even dressing a certain way – graffiti is the only thing that assures you and your message are heard no matter where you are. The beauty of graffiti (the unsigned kind, that is) is that any person can anonymously express emotion through two simple tools – a stencil and spray paint – and onlookers can decide how they feel about it in their own minds without sparking debate or screaming matches. 

When I was in New York over the summer, I witnessed firsthand the passion of graffiti artists and the effort and challenges they went through just to be seen and heard by a large group of people. From running from cops to going to secret locations to buy legal spray paint, the plight of the enthusiastic artist is inspirational. And some people can actually say that’s not art? Or that it’s illegal? 

With such an oversaturation of “artists” in this world, there’s nothing more artistic, creative and humble as anonymous graffiti. It’s the essence of what art should be, rather than the BS it’s become, with highbrow critics telling people what they should like, and why a piece should be expensive. 

Unfortunately, instead of people taking a step back and considering the essence of an art that directly derives from its definition, “scratching a design into a surface,” graffiti is still illegal. Maybe it’s because the buildings and sidewalks in modern concrete jungles are just too pretty. Maybe it’s because real art can never be understood. Or maybe it’s because people would rather graffiti artists take their views and emotions out on the world in a less constructive way than providing art for the masses. 

Either way, the ridiculousness of the legislative branch of our government continues to grow. Perhaps next they’ll make marijuana legal. After all, weed still kills, right?

September 11, 2008

Reporters

Dan Buyanovsky

Senior Writer


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