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What is the difference between"Graffiti" and "Art"?

Updated: Aug 14, 2020

At Scorpion Surface, we pride ourselves in making the community a better place. With that said, The subject of what is "Graffiti:" versus what is "Art" can be controversial. From a legal standpoint, graffiti is known as felony property damage but is often referred to by the slang terms "tagging", "Graffiti art" or just "Graffiti". What it is called, it gives the impression that the building, or even the neighbor, has been given up on.

Often the producer and graffiti artist Banksy is used as a reference as to how graffiti can serve a purpose. The "Art" that Banksy put on surfaces actually drives in the value of the property, in some cases. We just remember this is the exception not rule.



What is Graffiti?

To us, graffiti is anything that is not making the neighborhood a better place. If it is a gang tag, name, covering over a mural or anything offensive then it is not graffiti.

On your right, you see a local tag, this tag is seen often around town. It provides no positive value to the community. It is not a mural that shows how vibrant the community can be and what they are all about. This is a nuisance and is vandalism. Scorpion spends significant time removing tags like this. We work very hard to ensure graffiti like this does not stay up for an extended period of time. The longer the graffiti stays up on the wall or surface, the more likely it will happen more often.


What is Art?

Art is what makes us think, what makes us smile, and see greatness in the neighborhood. It shows the world something special; it has elegance and cultural significance. The below piece talks about how we can be great people and some words that as associated with that idea. Most of the art in Portland has been commissioned by either the property or business owner.


This art just happens to be using a building as it's a canvas. It has bright colors, is not offensive, and usually doesn't even make a political statement.


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