Street art. It's loved. It's hated. It has a vibe all too often seen as provocative, dishonest, blasphemous, heretic and illegal, naturally, the same as destroying public property and causing vandalism in communal spaces.
But not when we are referring to the art that we usually see on the streets of any city in the world.
Graffiti was first used by gangs and street coils to mark their zones of influence in urban environments and didn't really care about the artistic integrity of the marks they left.
The years have passed, of course, and the first graffiti style has progressively developed into a more aesthetic endearment, rich in expressive and dynamic means, and at the same time as it is here to convey social concerns and a political message. Good art, by definition!
Or again, if we believe at least the street art fighters, from municipal councils and homeowners, who swear that nothing creative is vandalism, equalizing street art with the very destructive fury of youth.
What if the institution of art has already accepted graffiti by hosting it in museums and galleries? What ink has been spilled by art critics and social analysts trying to explain that the illegal is synonymous with this seemingly ephemeral art?
Whatever famous contemporary artists of the modern era have sprung from the graffiti area and often return there? Often anyone who doesn't like this form of art tries to upset it - as if everyone's aesthetics are the measure of everything.
If the graffiti were fine, aesthetically pleasing, that is, transforming dull walls of slums into trendy places, losing their possibly illegitimate and foolish nature, would it still be art?
If they even communicated with moral, political and social comments from above, then it would be hard to describe it as vandalism, since the act of destruction itself would have been essentially circumvented.
Not sure that graffiti needs them all, as it really works in the gap between conservative morals and absolute liberation. This form of expression would not have the same resonance if they missed that sense of cunning and vandalism inherent in the very existence of it.
If it didn't cause some contradictions, it wouldn't really be worth painting on walls. Would it?
And so many countries, central governments and municipalities continue to be embarrassed about how graffiti is addressed.
In the US, the law is very strict; and at the same time, Bogota welcomes street artists to leave their mark on the city.
As for the notorious British scene of street art, it began about 45 years ago, in the wake of May 1968 when London was filled with angry political statements with poetic mood, as the graffiti were young poets, writers, theatrical writers, and political activists.
Street art decorates so many interesting cities. Even in lovely Indonesia a traveler can come out of any luxury hotel Jakarta has in huge numbers and be totally amazed by the beauty of the street art all over the walls of the city.
One thing is for sure - street art can be expressed in a way that cannot be considered vandalism but should be considered instead with great respect for the artist and their vision.
Both sides should respect each other and then a colorful result will come and the cities will no longer be grey and sad but filled with bright colors. This is happiness - a world full of color!