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According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, graffiti is “an inscription or drawing made on some public surface…a message or slogan…” As an artist, graffiti provides a platform for self-expression, in which the context of urban existence is directly informed, referenced and influenced by. As a student, graffiti was the only art form that provided representation of my community, my music, and my values. As an educator, graffiti has the potential to engage youth with familiar priorities of urban identity, agency, and navigation. I propose graffiti is a containment of identity, as defined by Margot Waddell, by allowing me to build an identity based purely on the merit of my efforts, liberating me away the marginalization of my physical identity. “Tagging is not simply an act of vandalism or violence; it is a social practice with its own rules and codes – a literacy practice imbued with intent and meaning.” – MacGillvray & Curwen

Graffiti. (n.d) In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

MacGillivray, L., & Curwen, M. S. (2007). Tagging as a Social Literacy Practice. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 50(5), 354-369.

Waddell, M. (1998). Inside Lives: Psychoanalysis and the Growth of the Personality. New York: Routledge.
by Kane One October 06, 2010
Graffiti is artistic vandalism. It is a form of creative expression characterized by the act of defacing public or private property. the term refers to images or artistic lettering scratched, scrawled, painted, or marked on property generally not owned by the graffitist. Graffiti is an issue surrounded by a great deal of controversy regarding its validity and legality; many consider graffiti to be a progressive and meaningful art-form while others regard it as unwanted, unsightly damage to personal property.
Look at that gorgeous mural, the artist must be incredibly talented. He turned that boring brick wall into an artistic masterpiece.

Graffiti isn't art, it's vandalism. That boring brick wall was not his to paint.
by freehugsforsale April 21, 2009
One of the 4 elements of hip-hop arts. Initially writing or drawing with colorful colors with paint on walls, one of my favourite arts of all can also be abbreviated as graff
Look at all o' those phat graffs
by cygnuz October 02, 2004
A type of art where the graffiti writer can express themselves with their own style and influence in their peices, throw ups or tags. Graffiti has nothing to do with gangs, gang violence or defacing private property, as the media portrays it.
Bob: Did you see that gang graffiti up on 3rd street?

Joe: That's not gang graffiti, dumb shit.
by RunawayBombers January 14, 2011
The term for irrelevant, unimportant, or annoying Wall posts on social networking websites such as Facebook.
I went to check my Facebook for that link you gave me, and I couldn't find it because of all the graffiti!
by Shotgun Ninja February 11, 2011
An art form that is now dead for these reasons
- Its now a felony

- Having marijuana is less of a crime
- Stores lock there paint up in cgaes

the only people who can paint have to be rich
- Its so mainstream

It used to be if you painted graffiti you improvised but now people are making millions of punks who think they can paint
- All OG writers are now dead, drug addicts, or too damn scared
graffiti is dead if you want to see how real graffiti is watch the movie piece by piece or read the book spraycan art
by ashhat1 May 19, 2012
A popular pastime for poor people and children with ADHD. One of the reasons why we can't have nice things.
"Daddy, who put all that scribble on the walls?"
"It was those long-hairs from the Occupy Wall St movement. It's their way of saying they the hate people who give them money. People like us. They call it graffiti."
by Reggie_dunbar November 11, 2011