Graffiti is self-expression by people who want mark their territory. It shows up in all places, on bus stops, walls of buildings, sidewalks, chairs, tables, freeways, signs, bathroom stalls, among other places. Graffiti artists have tagged national parks. They have conquered the urban environment. It’s no longer outrageous to see graffiti on the side of a building. Sometimes it’s left alone. However, most of the time it is covered over by paint, other graffiti, but its intent cannot be erased. It’s evolving street art. It tells a story of the people who have been there, who have something to say, and who want to express themselves in a public manner. Graffiti is political.
Some see the public expression as art, other see them as defacement. That’s the contention among people in LA. Graffiti starts fights. Gangs around town use them to designate their areas of control. Graffiti artists take to the street to express their anger, resentment, and other emotions. They have their individual styles and recognizable tags.
Some do it for fun. They would tag a wall to declare their love for someone. Regardless of the intent, graffiti is meant to be seen. It’s a declaration, “I was here,” or “I control this place.” Graffiti demands attention. Often, it is huge and cover large surfaces. Graffiti represents humanity because each has a voice and message.