By Jaynene Moreno |Staff Writer|
Some people may say graffiti is actual art and some may argue that it is vandalism.
What many people don’t know are the reasons behind the street art and that it isn’t always gang related.
Some street artists are independent, only do legal projects, or have different reasons for their art such as wanting to become famous or simply getting a sense of self accomplishment.
“I believe actual art pieces such as murals enhance a city’s culture. It shows how they express themselves,” said Devan Lee, a fifth-year CSUSB. “If it’s just a scribbled word then I’d agree that it isn’t necessary.”
Although there are a lot of young people out there who are actually just looking to vandalize their city, there are others who want to make it big and maybe one day make a living on their art.
Sand is a successful female graffiti artist who paints big-eyed dolls with beautiful long eyelashes.
Each doll has their own personality, which she demonstrates by captioning her paintings with sayings such as “I use to want love now all I want is money.”
Her art is now sold starting at $150. She has started selling clothing, pillows, and custom water paintings as well.
Banksy and Obey are some of the most known street artists who have become famous off their art work.
Shepard Fairey started the clothing brand Obey but his fame actually started on the streets. He would leave his art work on street walls where it could be clearly seen.
Banksy’s story can be watched on Netflix in the film “Exit through the Gift Shop.” His story is also very similar to Obey’s story.
He would travel to many cities and leave his art pieces on street walls.
“I think that graffiti is a little bit of both art and vandalism,” said Giovanni Escalera, a fourth year CSUSB student. “It depends more on where you do it than what it is.”
Although these artists started off doing things illegally, there are many places where you can legally show off your art skills.
Venice Beach Boardwalk offers walls to the public in which they can come and do graffiti legally.
The boardwalk gives people the opportunity to express themselves and not worry if they’re going to get in any kind of trouble.
“I enjoy doing graffiti because I get to express my feelings through my art. It’s sort of an escape” said graffiti writer Fetus.
Whether it’s art or vandalism, it can be dangerous in various ways if done illegally.
It can get you arrested or if you’re underage it can get your parents arrested and cause them a fine.
If you take graffiti to an extreme it can even get you killed.
According to rivesideca.gov, “Parents who are criminally negligent in failing to supervise or control their children in a manner that causes their children to commit a crime, may be prosecuted for that crime and sentenced to one year in jail or $2,500 fine or both.”
“I hadn’t done graffiti in a long time because I knew I had a lot to lose if I got caught. So once I found out I had the chance to do it legally I got out there as soon as I could,” said Entik, local graffiti writer from Whittier, Calif.
Each writer has a different reason or inspiration for their art whether its music, a life experience, or a hobby.
They’re getting out there, being seen, and giving people something to talk about.
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