Street art: is it worth the dangers?


Street art is a widely known form of art that spreads creativity, symbolism, and voice.  This art is seen far and wide and catches the eye from miles away. The uniqueness of this art is what makes it so amazing, but at what risk is this art made? Tags and drawings are often seen in dangerously high places and are found to be in generally unsafe parts of cities such as alleyways, behind stores, and even out in the open where cops and others could see this dangerous art form being made. These artists risk the chance of being arrested, ridiculed, and even killed all for a small piece of art on the side of a building.

In 2010, an artist known as ZEB was arraigned in Queens, New York, for tagging several New York subway cars. ZEB’s lawyer argued that he was “working hard to channel his creative output in a productive way” as a student at the Chicago Art Institute. They entered a guilty plea by the end of the trial, to appease the prosecution. Even with the plea, he received a conviction for graffiti, with a $6,910 restitution, and 25 days of community service.

Savana Silverstone [Name Withheld], a local artist, states ‘I’ve been doing street art since I was a teenager. I’ve had friends arrested, threatened, and even severely hurt doing street art. I myself have been arrested a few times and have found myself in a sketchy part of town surrounded by threats. Street art is a dangerous thing but it’s something I love and something thousands of others would die doing.”

Now imagine finding an abandoned, blank billboard, just waiting to be tagged with beautiful art. The only way to get up onto that billboard is to climb the rusted ladder leading to the thin boardwalk suspended hundreds of feet in the air. Not only does this pose an extreme threat of danger, but it also withholds the risk of being arrested and charged with extreme fines and even time for trespassing and defiling property. To some, the world seeing their art and message is worth the dangers. But is it worth it to you?