Art & Culture

How Graffiti Can Be Positive

Andrew Parker
Mar 06, 2020

Graffiti has very different connotations than it did ten, or twenty years ago. Once clearly defined as something controversial and criminal, today the definition of it is ever-changing. While graffiti is still perhaps a controversial topic, many today see these works of creativity as exactly that – the creative expression of some incredibly talented artists. Put simply – graffiti is now an accepted form of art.

There are of course those who are skeptical and believe that graffiti only promotes vandalism and violence. But upon a closer look at the paint sprayed upon the walls of any given city, one might rethink this position. Ranging from inspiring quotes to political caricatures to giant motivational murals, many graffiti artists are as interested in spreading a positive message as much as they are in making their cities more colorful.

These works of art can be funny, sad, angry, or touching. But what’s most important to remember is that each one of them is an expression of the voices of people, oftentimes voices which are not heard in our society. And really, is there anything more important than using our freedom of expression? Thankfully, many of today’s artists are using them for good.

So while some people might use graffiti to spread negative or dangerous messages, it’s important to remember that like most things in life, every story has two sides. Fortunately, people today are starting to wake up and see the positive effects that graffiti can have in a city or town. These works of art can be a resourceful way to spread messages of empowerment and calls for change, and sometimes, they’re just very beautiful to look at. We’re probably not going to pick up a spray can anytime soon, but what we can do is admire the local graffiti artworks in cities across the world while remembering to think about the messages behind them.