When I heard the word "graffiti" I used to think of spray paint being used to deface property. However, just recently I've seen some incredibly artistic graffiti and it has really changed my opinion. If only it was always used positively!
If permission has been given to paint graffiti on a wall/surface then it is artistic. If they do not have permission to paint on public property is is vandalism. That is my distinction, and it doesn't matter how good the artwork is.
I absolutely agree with you . Everthing I see throughout my travels each day, fits your description perfectly. With tagging growing every day. This only continues to lower the tone of the districts(Gosford City) in my case.That they target.
Tagging, no but there's tonnes of really fabulous art around. Usually now, because of the size of the work, the artists get permission (because they need a whole wall and it takes a few days) Linz is incredibly talented, to name one, but there are plenty with big names around the Inner West now.
Graffiti can indeed be artistic. Art is not meant to be comfortable or law abiding, it should challenge your assumptions and make you think. So graffiti that has been done with permission is not automatically artistic in my opinion and done without permission can be both vandalism and art. The two are not mutually exclusive. Think of the Berlin Wall - here the graffiti was most definitely done without permission but that was what gave the art and the message it was conveying its power. With permission it would have been nothing more than daubs of paint on a wall. In more recent times, Banksy has made people stop and think about all sorts of issues. His work is beautiful and challenging and sometimes mind-boggling as to how he got it there! But it is art without doubt.
That's not to say that all graffiti is art, any more than all paintings on canvas are art. But the issue of having permission or whether it is vandalism seems to me to be completely irrelevant to whether it is art.
Art and artists are often subversive and mocking the current mores, if they had to have permission then we would have been denied a lot of great art over the ages.
No I don't think it is artistic. I hate it and I think the reason I hate it is because graffiti artists always seem to use primary colours and black backgrounds- which I hate. If there was a lot more graffiti around that used say paler colour or pastels, I might be a little less critical. But at the moment there is some graffiti on the walls of a railway viaduct near me and, with the darkness in that tunnel and the dark colours of the graffiti, I don't just hate it - it depresses me.