"Graffiti is revolutionary…. and any revolution might be considered a crime. People who are oppressed or suppressed need an outlet, so they write on walls—it’s free."
Graffiti advocates perceive graffiti as a method of reclaiming public space or to display one's art form, their opponents regard it as an unwanted nuisance. Graffiti has often had a reputation as being part of a subculture that rebels against authority, and thus, graffiti artists are presumed to be vandals and law-breakers. And yet, in times of conflict, such murals offer a means of communication and self-expression for members of these socially, ethnically and/or racially divided communities.
The stenciled image of the squatting man holding a sign that reads: "Keep your coins, I WANT CHANGE," speaks directly to the surge in street art across the globe. In a time when large institutions get larger and often hem in the ability for individuals to make themselves heard, the streets serve as invitingly blank canvases that anyone with some paint and a message has access to.
But at what cost? Secrecy and speed are the Graffiti Artists favored arsenal in avoiding the penance of expressing themselves. Jail.
However, many contemporary analysts and even art critics have begun to see artistic value in graffiti and to recognize for what it is - public art. According to many art researchers, graffiti is actually an effective tool for social emancipation or in the achievement of a political goal.
Graffiti – art or vandalism? It all depends on which side of the wall your standing on