When most people think of graffiti, they conjure up images of crudely scrawled words and messages in spray paint in an inner city neighborhood or perhaps the New York City subway. Graffiti has changed to a large degree, however, and many graffiti artists are proud of their work, says Broward criminal defense attorney William Moore. They may go to great lengths to paint works that they believe are beautiful and which are certainly artistic, even “signing” their names – with a signature symbol or an illegible name or initials. Many are believed to like the recognition associated with the artwork, although they probably do not want to be charged with vandalism or criminal mischief.
Graffiti is extremely controversial, notes criminal lawyer Moore, and it has been hotly discussed by the Hollywood, Florida City Council in recent weeks. To many members of a community, it is vandalism, the defacing of property belonging to another or belonging to the government. The artistic value is minimal to those in that particular school of thought. Additionally, anti-graffiti community members tend to be concerned about other ramifications. The art form has long been associated with hip-hop music, as well as criminal gang activity. The gangs may use graffiti to denote the boundaries of their “territory,” a problem associated with increased violence and crimes. In Hollywood, this occurred recently when young graffiti artists were apprehended while “tagging” the water tower.
Other people see graffiti more as a form of public art. These proponents believe that graffiti as an art form can be an outlet for the community. Belfast, Northern Ireland, had public graffiti space during political and religious strife; Los Angeles has also had the same concept in ethnically and racially diverse areas. Likewise, the Berlin Wall was extensively covered in graffiti that expressed political messages.
Some graffiti artists have become relatively famous. An artist’s technique may not be limited to simply spray-painting his initials or nickname all over town, an oft-condemned practice known as “tagging.” Instead, he may use carefully cut out stencils, or even erect a colorful mural over a period of days. Tagging and other quick graffiti practices have gained favor because time is of the essence to a graffiti artist. After all, the less time an artist spends painting, the less likely it is he will be found out and arrested by law enforcement officials.
Broward criminal lawyer William Moore has experience in all kinds of criminal defense, including sex crimes and DUI. A conviction for a felony or misdemeanor can have consequences on your freedom, your employment, and your personal life. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in the south Florida area, contact William Moore, P.A., which has offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.
Article contributed by Mallory Shipman, Esq.