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Graffiti: Art or Vandalism?

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Readers responded, some angrily, to Mike Dulin's essay on the artistic value of graffiti, “Tag, We're It” (Back Page, Sept. 7).
 
Many graffiti vandals in inner city Richmond are tagging poorer historic neighborhoods — not billboards or suburban corporate campuses. Their nonsense tags appear on our brick sidewalks and modest row houses. They are hurting a movement to bring back sustainable, citizen-oriented urban life rather than challenging the suburban, corporate status quo. — Anon for a reason, Sept. 8, 10:46 a.m.

We own a house in the Fan, which was a financial struggle to buy and slowly renovate. … On several occasions, someone has spray painted my carriage house door with some saying, or has used a marker to draw some symbols which are meaningless to me. You are going to have to explain to me how there is any justification whatsoever for anyone to do anything to the door which I worked to buy and which I painted myself. — Victim, Sept. 9, 8:06 a.m.

It's the difference between creation and destruction. Art and vandalism. When someone disregards the context and environment surrounding the marks they make, they are denying their social responsibility as an artist to actually communicate and create a dialogue with their audience. … In my opinion, this is not creative, it's destructive. —Robin of Locksley, Sept. 9, 12:40 p.m.

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