Graffiti As Art

By: Nick Gkaveras

How and where it started from.

Graffiti (known also as graffito) is art that is written, painted or drawn on a wall or other surface, with or without permission and within public view. Usually, it is done illegally. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and has existed since ancient times, in ancient Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire.

It was discovered from a man called Jean-Michel Basquiat. He was an American person who rose to success during the 1980s as a part of the Neo-expressionism movement. Basquiat achieved fame as a part of a graffiti crew called SAMO.

Debate on whether it is or it in not art.

Nowadays when people hear about graffiti, they think of the art they see on big houses, like apartment buildings, which are made by professional artists who get paid a lot of money to do it.

This mindset leads us to a debate on whether graffiti is art or it is not.

Graffiti in some points of view is not art, because it is just a bunch of big letters drawn on a wall which with a little bit of practice can literately be done by everyone. This type of graffiti does not require any skill in painting and can be done by everyone with just a little bit of practice and that is why it in not art. Instead, in other points of view it is a real art when it is done by a professional who knows how to paint and will make something incredible. This type of graffiti, now, can only be done by professionals because it requires a lot of skills and it is very expensive.

Types” of graffiti writers.

Basically, there two categories of graffiti artists. The street ones and the professional ones. The fact that stands out street graffiti artists from professional graffiti artists, is that the first ones do their “job-hobby” illegally which leads them in taking the risk of getting caught and ending up in prison. Professional artists do not have to worry about getting caught because they do graffiti legally. Also, professional graffiti artists not only get paid to paint but also all of the supplies they will use, get covered from the person who pays them, so they pay nothing.

Pictures of different types of graffiti art.

This picture is an example of what people think when they hear about graffiti. This painting work has been done by a professional artist who might has been paid to do this.


In the other hand that is a picture of a man painting a wall illegally. As we can see he is dressed in black clothes which gives him a layer of “privacy” from people who might not like his acts and call the police. The paint he has done, in the graffiti “language” is called a “throw up”.

throw up

The consequences of getting caught.

Important is also the fact that in most countries, marking or painting property without permission is considered vandalism, which is a punishable crime, and the person who did it can go to jail for a long period of time depending on the place he drew.


Street graffiti artist getting arrested for painting somewhere illegally who will probably end up in jail.

Links of the pictures


picture of the arrested person:

picture of the character piece:

picture of the man painting: