Consider the graffiti pictured on the right, seen on McGill University campus. Would you say that it is a positive message? A form of social commentary? A small element of positivity among the many cynical or negative influences facing Montrealers every day? Based on the choice of words and its potential to connect with people, you might even ask; “is it art?” – Which raises an interesting question;
What is the artistic value of graffiti?
In some cases, graffiti artists, now paid for their work, create impressive murals, which can become cultural references. Just think of this building (pictured below) on Ste. Catherine Street in Downtown Montreal, near the corner of St. Laurent. EVERY Montrealer who has been downtown knows this building and would recognize it anywhere.
In other cases, the graffiti is basically someone’s signature, made up of a few strokes with a single color. This is called a “tag“. Usually made without authorization, this type of graffiti is often seen as an eyesore. Tags are the type of graffiti that Solutions Graffiti is most often called to remove.
The artistic value of graffiti is often a source of debate; interestingly, a journalist recently contacted us to ask us about the notion of intellectual property concerning graffiti; could it be considered in the same manner as copyright?Then again, anyone claiming that right would also be admitting to vandalizing private property…

Basically, the artistic value of graffiti is a relative concept.

In Montreal, as in many other cities, graffiti is often found on private property, usually done without any authorization. In this sense, a simple measure of legitimacy is whether the graffiti was done with or without permission. Everything else, while open to interpretation and debate, is also subject to be cleaned by our team of professional graffiti removal technicians.