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Street Art: Expression or Vandalism?

Street art is an urban visual art form known for its bold, vivid, and symbolic aesthetic. While it has been around since ancient times, it experienced a modern revival in the 1960s in Philadelphia and New York through graffiti culture. It provided a means of self-expression for marginalized communities, allowing them to be seen in places where they otherwise felt ignored and thus invisible. It also challenged traditional art norms as it was created and displayed in public spaces by any willing artist, using unconventional art forms like murals and graffiti rather than traditionally "beautiful" paintings in delicate frames in galleries and museums. Street art's popularity arises from its open platform for artistic and personal expression, as well as socio-political commentary, with the added relief of anonymity. Despite its efforts to democratize art, street art remains a controversial subject. While it can efficiently draw attention to important topics such as social justice and human rights, some argue that it constitutes vandalism without moral or political accountability. As a response, several cities, including Berlin and New York, have designated areas where street artists can legally create their work. Despite the debate around the legitimacy of street art as an art form, the artistic value and message behind it cannot be denied or left underappreciated.

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