By Oc Szwarc
With the arrest of prominent street artist Adam Cost in New York City on Oct. 9, street art is back on the public’s radar, according to animalnewyork.com. This development in the art world points to the confusion about the line between street art and graffiti.
Graffiti and street art, while under the same umbrella, are different things. According to artrepublic.com, street art is “art developed in public spaces.” While graffiti, also known as tagging, consists of writing one’s name in spray paint on public property, according to graffitiactionhero.org. Tagging is usually regarded as destructive, whereas street art can be a constructive addition to the landscape.
Street art varies from mosaic tiles to large posters that comment on a variety of topics ranging from sexual politics to world affairs to police brutality, but it remains a controversial issue.
Art student sophomore Tony Peer said, “Street art is about self expression, where graffiti is much more about territories and tagging.”
Public opinion has been divided on the issue of street art. Junior Todd Banks said, “Street art, while it can be beautiful, is also the defiling of a person’s personal property and [street artists] should be arrested for that.”
Street artists face penalties such as probation, fines and jail time. According to complex.com, street artist GIRAFA faced a $38,000 restitution and three years of probation. Also, three members of the group DPM faced jail time ranging from eighteen months to two years.
According to senior art student Anna Reid: “Street art causes change... Its unique combination of rebellion and beauty makes people think. Like every other art form, spray-painted walls make us ask questions about ourselves and our surroundings.”