Inspired by discussions in this thread, I'd like to know what people think of graffiti and street art. Art or vandalism?
I obviously love it, and think it is an important part of any cities urban fabric. For one, it provides a character for the city - I really hate sanitised cities like Singapore.
I think one thing critics of graffiti (in particular) would do well to realise is that graffiti artists are genuine artists. They aren't lowlifes who go around looking for things to destroy and they don't deface buildings just for the sake of it.
Another point in defence of graffiti artists is that the real quality graffiti isn't in prominent places. Graffiti artists generally like to take the ugly places that no-one notices (dirty lanes, railway bridges etc) and practice their art there. They generally don't go and ruin a brand-new building or anything like that - unless they're merely taggers, who I have no respect for. Anyway, some examples of quality graffiti and stencil art from around Melbourne (probably the best city for this stuff in Aus):
...and a link to an amazing piece (too big to post):