Just few decades ago graffiti was considered as nothing but vandalism. Graffiti were painted on urban infrastructure, transportation and buildings. They were not supposed to be there, and owners of these objects regularly had to scrub them off or paint over them. Those were unnecessary expenditures beside most of graffiti works were very simple and plain, so people were fed up with these activities. Society didn’t accept it and definitely didn’t see anything even close to real art in graffiti. Municipalities had to find some ways how to ban it. There were police running after these vandals and many restrictions made to totally eliminate graffiti.
Nowadays, however, people are starting to accept graffiti. It is not only hobby of some youngsters from ghettos, but kind of art. Some graffiti artists get paid for their works, there are many projects that allow graffiti to be painted on urban objects and even some art galleries and art museums buy some artworks. So what influenced these changes in people’s attitude toward graffiti?
First of all, graffiti itself has developed. Instead of simple tagging and ugly throw ups, graffiti artists actually dedicated some time to work on their art. It almost became competition between all the artists. It was not all about finding the best place for graffiti anymore, but about creativity, skills and talent. Graffiti really became visually attractive. It has become a part of street art and most of the people actually like graffiti. However there still is lot of graffiti painters whose work is far from art.
Next condition that influences people’s attitude is the fact that graffiti can’t be called new form of art anymore. Graffiti has been created since early 70s so it been almost 50 years we know this type of art. People just have got used to it. Although it can’t be compared to types of art we know for thousands of years, it is still something we all know, so we can objectively evaluate either we like it or not, instead of criticizing it, because that is the reaction of society together.
Also society itself has become a lot more opened to new types of arts. Nowadays modern arts include weird sculptures and very odd paintings, created using all kinds of crazy methods, but people still consider it art. Modern art museums are full of artworks that cause lot more discussions than graffiti art. Graffiti is nothing controversial comparing to that.
Of course, people still hate tags and throw ups that look ugly and inappropriate, but they have different opinion about graffiti pieces – complicated and good looking art works. Even if they are painted illegally on some infrastructure objects, most of the people love them and consider as improvement rather than damage. However, it still doesn’t mean that you should go into the streets and paint graffiti. It is still illegal.