Friday, June 22, 2012

Art vs graffiti.

How does one recognise art?

It has been something that's at the back of my mind. Recently someone put up stickers at traffic crossings and sprayed "my grandfather road" on the island. Of course the person was arrested by the police.

I thought the stickers and words were funny. It was something lighthearted, nothing libelous or offensive. The authorities didn't think so. They called it vandalism. See, I don't know if that's right. 

Sure she put up stickers on public property, but they meant no harm. The stickers were humorous, and they made people laugh. Something lighthearted to talk about and share with friends. I see flyers and "flatmate wanted" notices at bus stops with contact numbers but I don't think the police arrested them for vandalism. So why the sticker lady? 

I think, a society progresses when it is able to laugh at itself. The island has been pouring funds into promoting the arts scene but art is not just a beautiful painting, hanging in the museum. Art is not just found in the traditional medium.

When I was travelling in Paris, I came across something on the way to Musee Rodin that was painted overnight in the alley. I think it was Banksy.

This will be regarded as graffiti on the island.

While I agree that some can never be considered as art, the notion of what art is should be taken into consideration. I'm not for opening the crazy flood gates of vandalised public property either.

How do we recognise graffiti and street art without glorifying it -- but still recognizing its artistry?

For now, I just hope the sticker lady is ok.

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