In The Eyes Of The Beholder. Coming Of Age In The United

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In the Eyes of the Beholder
Coming of age in the United States has its privileges, you can vote, drink and buy spray paint. That’s right, spray paint. Many states, including Texas and Florida prohibit selling spray paint to minors. That means that, without an adult, under-age graffiti artists cannot purchase the medium needed for their creative work. Unlike other styles of art, graffiti denotes passionate emotional controversy. Ask anyone to describe graffiti and you are likely to hear anything from vandalized walls full of writings to beautiful commissioned murals. This paper will explore this intriguing creative expression, why it has such a negative stigma, and how or if it has evolved over the years.
Webster defines graffiti as
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To the little artist both were deliberate, but to the audience the wall print was unwelcomed and a nuisance to be cleaned up.
To some, Picasso’s WOMAN WITH FISH HAT painting may look like a beginner’s attempt, but to an expert it has “immensely inventive intensity” (Hans 154). To the untrained eye, Jackson Pollack’s art looks like haphazard splatters of paint. In the crime thriller CONTRABAND a seemingly tarp full of paint was discarded by thieves, later the canvas was revealed to be a Pollack original worth millions. Amateurs consider many famous artworks as junk but connoisseur valuable them as treasures. Who is right? If Pollack had painted his famous, No 5, on a city wall would it still be valued at $140 million or would it be considered worthless graffiti by youth vandals.
America graffiti acquired its bad rap from the “hippie’ era. Protesters of the Vietnam War and other political and worldviews began to appear on college campus and city walls. Gangs emerged from an increase of immigrants and their need to integrate. Many youths in large cities such as Los Angeles and New York City “joined gangs to help them gain a group identity, defend themselves against other groups, and establish a unified presence.” (Doak 16). Gangs identify themselves in many ways; their clothing, colors, even their language and slang terms helps differentiate themselves from other gangs. Another common identifier is to mark their
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