Monday, April 21, 2008


The University of Waikato has several examples of authorised graffiti all over its sprawling campus. This is wall art, as opposed to tagging.

Graffiti is defined as ”images or lettering scratched, scrawled, painted or marked in any manner on property”. By definition, it is art. However, graffiti and graffiti artists have unfortunately acquired a bad reputation over the years. Grafitti has become synonymous with the unlawful defacing of property without consent; vadalism, in other words. This is most unfortunate as graffiti can be a very useful form of artistic expression and social commentary. Graffiti was also an integral part of Sony’s marketing campaign for the PSP, the handheld version of Playstation.

In New Zealand, graffiti art is commonly called “tagging”. Tagging actually refers to the writing of the artist’s name in spray paint or marker. It does not by definition include more complex, detailed and decorative murals. It has become a huge social and political issue, and there have been suggestions that similar anti-tagging legislation that operates in the United Kingdom should be introduced in New Zealand. On 26 January 2008, a 15-year old was stabbed to death in Auckland, allegedly by a home owner whose property was about to be tagged by the victim.


sam said...

hi sakiwi, love the art! I have an ambivalent reaction to graffiti, some of it is really brilliant art, and to be enjoyed, some is just egotistical little individuals trying to make a mark and they really need to get a life! (the tagging kind) but I must admit I have never felt strongly enough about it to consider KILLING someone over it.... goodness, even in good old crime ridden SA the levels of anger would usually stop at that!

(Oh and by the way, I know what you mean about missing the wind! There is something so invigorating about standing on the beach, bracing against it and watching the water being whipped back off the tops of the breakers.... magic!)

edwin s said...

Such a vibrant and happy wall.

Thanks you for popping by KLDP. Seeing the torch was a great experience for me.

Jules said...

What a glorious day over there. We too have a stunning sunny day here but it is not Autumn - forever summer here!!!!