Street Art

Melbourne is at the centre of a discussion on the legality of Street Art. We are now looking at various community leaders openly stating whether graffiti is art or not. Many of these public figures do not have a background in art, yet they seem to have developed an expert opinion on the topic.

I am not trying to sound condescending or like an elitist, but since when do we ask a police spokes-person on definitions of art? That would be a bit like asking a theatre director how to keep Melbourne’s streets safe and quoting him on the topic as if he was an expert.

Beautiful banner by Astrid Elsmann

Beautiful banner by Astrid Elsmann

In my view the entire discussion regarding graffiti misses a major point. We should not ask whether Street Art is Art! The question should be whether or not Street Art should be criminalised by parts of our society.

Have we not learnt from our not so distant past? Did American officials really believe that they could stop the entire country from consuming alcohol in the 1930’s? Do Victorian officials seriously believe that a draconian law will stop taggers from tagging? Does the Graffiti Prevention Act not rather criminalise young people in general?

We have to be very clear that this new legislation has the power to have the opposite effect that tagging becomes a trend. We should acknowledge that there is a problem with graffiti in the public opinion. We should also acknowledge that there are many Melbourne residents who want change and a massive reduction in the amount of tagging and graffiti. Well, the Graffiti Prevention Act will not bring the solution but put young members of our community in dire straits.

To quote from a stencil that I saw in Fitzroy once:

‘Keep your coins, I want change’…

Read the following blogs to get informed about the debate:

  • Core TV 1 Very informative post on the Graffiti Prevention Act and some of the groups who are against graffiti. Good blog.
  • Geekgirl Love the name! This post is on a stencil festival in Melbourne and has some interesting insights into our current political state of the art regarding street art
  • Images To Live By This is another informative blog with a great post on the Graffiti Prevention Act 
  • Don’t Ban The Can Most locals know about DBTC by now, they are an interest group of street art supporters and against the Graffiti Prevention Act. They organise events to celebrate street art! This is what democracy is about! Standing up for what you believe in…

Victor Biola

 keep-your-coins-i-want-change

PS: If anyone is still looking for a valid definition of art please check the Free Dictionary

art 1

n.
1. Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.
2.
a. The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.
b. The study of these activities.
c. The product of these activities; human works of beauty considered as a group.
3. High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty; aesthetic value.
4. A field or category of art, such as music, ballet, or literature.
5. A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.
6.
a. A system of principles and methods employed in the performance of a set of activities: the art of building.
b. A trade or craft that applies such a system of principles and methods: the art of the lexicographer.
7.
a. Skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation: the art of the baker; the blacksmith’s art.
b. Skill arising from the exercise of intuitive faculties: “Self-criticism is an art not many are qualified to practice” Joyce Carol Oates.
8.
a. arts Artful devices, stratagems, and tricks.
b. Artful contrivance; cunning.
9. Printing Illustrative material.
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3 Responses to “Street Art”

  1. imagestoliveby Says:

    Thanks for your comments – and thanks for your great site!

  2. nice wp blog here, i like street arts too, its cool

  3. Where can one learn or watch how stencil art is produced?

    Fan

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