A review after reading the article, Adolescents and graffiti Koon-Hwee Kan Art Education; Jan 2001; 54, 1; Research Library
Adolescents and graffiti Koon-Hwee Kan Art Education; Jan 2001; 54, 1; Research Library
The extended focus period of adolescence that guides curriculum planning has certain limitations. Because academic achievement is unimportant for many teenagers today (Meyer, 1994), schooling becomes a boring, irritating, stressful, and disturbing experience for them. In these cases, the natural tendency to drift in and out of multiple realities increases. From this point of view, adolescent graffiti is a form of escapism. This can be interpreted as a subconscious rejection of the kind of learning that does not help to effectively integrate the inner needs to construct personal meaning and promote growth.
Latrinalia – Another type of private graffiti is “latrinalia,” the kind of graffiti found near toilets (Abel & Buckley, 1970). In most civilizations throughout history, creators have usually been oppressed individuals in society. For example, a slave working on monumental construction or a prisoner in prison.
Gang graffiti: Gang graffiti emerged in the 1950s in the United States. This is primitive graffiti focusing on gang names or symbols adopted to mark territories and war zones. (Gomez, 1993,644)
Tag: A tag is simple, distinct text like a signature. I adopted Hat Tagger for a variety of personal reasons. (Gomez, 1993,645) The invention of magic markers and improvements in spray paint in the 1960s made aging possible and popular in the United States.
Sculpture: Derived from the word ‘masterpiece’, this is a large-scale laboratory piece with refined details commonly found in subways and on the exteriors of buildings.
How did graffiti become art?
High art at the time was criticized for being too institutionalized and intellectual. There was a great discrepancy between the art in the museum and the experience of the common people. Art critic Rene Richards, who witnessed the progressive decline of minimalism over the past decade, highlighted the art of graffiti in the prestigious high art magazine Art Forum. Art dealers looked for ‘new blood’ to revitalize the art market. Thus, graffiti has become an art product worth investing in. Graffiti art was also influenced by hip hop culture prevalent at the time, including rap music disc jockeys and break dancing. (Hager, 1985) Typical examples are Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Halling in the 1960s. By the 1990s, hip-hop culture had lost its nascent vitality, but had become known worldwide and accepted as part of mainstream American culture. Graffiti art became commercialized around this time, appearing in advertisements for Nike and Sprite, and other marketing strategies aimed at youth culture reinforced the concept of graffiti as a form of artistic expression for the younger generation.
Graffiti art is a unique and holistic aesthetic that offers novelty in both language and visual simplicity.
For many young people who disdain conformity to social norms and cultural conventions, graffiti represents a means of rebelling against society's established tastes. (Ferrell, 1995) The museum exhibits they visit on school field trips may represent traditional adult tastes, but not a shot of Coca-Cola. Graffiti equates to the search for alternative forms of expression, non-normative forms of communication such as the use of codified language among peer groups. Also, in urban life, graffiti is the most familiar form of visual culture in daily life.
‘You are standing at the station. Everything is gray and gloomy. Suddenly, one of the graffiti trains lights up the place like a large bouquet from Latin America. ‘ Famous artist Claes Oldenburg praised the beauty of graffiti. Howarth, 1989
Many young graffiti artists have received mass media attention for their ‘unique artistic courage’.
Keith Haring's graffiti art is also widely known. His work appears in all forms of commercial art and museum memorabilia, many contemporary art textbooks, exhibitions across the United States, and even many children's art books.
So, does graffiti fit in the art curriculum? The undesirable fact is that graffiti has become a costly social problem in many cities around the world. US cities spent about $4 billion on graffiti cleaning in 1994. (Walsh, 1996) Cleaning graffiti in schools is a challenge for many teachers, principals, and staff. School vandalism is also a growing problem in many western countries. This drains the education reform budget and delays upgrade plans. (Zwier & Vaughan, 1984)
According to the authors' research, most young adolescents (ages 12-13) cannot differentiate between graffiti art and vandalism. It is natural for them to feel confused that the art world and society are sending contradictory messages.
However, adolescence is a great time to establish one's own identity, away from the pursuit of autonomy and from dependent and conformist ways. However, there is a possibility that the message of youth heroism is negatively expressed due to the pressure of the group due to the contagion of behavior and values within the peer group at this time. It is also a time when it is difficult to distinguish between adventure and courageous action, which is reckless courage, so caution is required.
In these sensitive times, there is what it takes to make graffiti a part of youth education.
1. In pedagogy, there should always be serious consideration of age appropriateness. Do not try to introduce controversial art forms and content to all students.
2. Seek approval from all authorities in the school and district, including the principal and other peers. There are 12 states with laws that address vandalism and damage to school property.
3. We fully consider the community and its interests.
4. Engage a decent graffiti writer or artist already known to your neighbors.
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Myungja Anna Koh