Book Chapter

Graffiti as character

K Dovey, S Wollan, I Woodcock

Mapping Urbanities: Morphologies, Flows, Possibilities | Taylor & Francis | Published : 2017


In order to explore the relationships between graffiti and urban character, it is worth revisiting briefly the debates over graffiti’s status as vandalismversus-art. Here, it is worth noting that vandalism and art are commonly defined as opposites (destruction versus creation), yet both can also be seen as different forms of transgression. While vandalism transgresses the law, art transgresses normal ways of seeing the world. With authorised public art serving instrumental roles such as place branding, stimulating consumption or celebrating history, graffiti is often the most transgressive of public arts. The criminality of graffiti is based on a perception of violated property rights and of..

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