Reflections on Graffiti

By Luz del Carmen Vilchis Esquivel.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This work, based on a case study, performs a series of reflections on the plastic qualities of graffiti and, hence, its artistic nature.
An extensive description: This proposal integrates different facets of an interdisciplinary analysis conducted on the graffiti expressions of the Santa María la Ribera neighbourhood in Mexico City, on of the biggest cities in the world that is suffering, as any other large city, from enormous visual contamination. These nocturnal manifestos, captured on large and small backgrounds, are a reason for social controversy.
Graffiti entails, for some, an expression of aesthetic nature. Plastic characteristics are awarded to it and it is acknowledged in many art schools around the world as one more genre of contemporary art. As a contrast to this thought, there is social criticism toward these manifestations that undoubtedly affect the environment and alter a community’s interaction in different ways. From this perspective, graffiti are considered cultural aggression, occult delinquency that is pursued under different modalities of crime in many places around the world.
The interpretation of the meaning and transcendence of visual manifestations that have neither academic structures nor social determinants is important because it allows establishing points of view and critical criteria against everyday visual experiences that have no conceptual support. This research opens up an interesting discussion on anonymous graphics, their technical and plastic characteristics, reiterations, meanings and, as a whole, their sense.

Keywords: Art, Graffiti, Interpretation

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.41-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.348MB).

Prof. Luz del Carmen Vilchis Esquivel

Professor, Visual Arts Postgraduate Program, National School of Visual Arts, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico

Professor in Posgraduate Program of National School of Visual Arts in National Autonomous University of Mexico. Pioneer in Mexico using digital resources in arts and design. First woman director of National School of Visual Arts at UNAM (2002-2006), has published four books about Graphic Design Theory, Graphic Design Metodology, Non-linear languages semiotics and Graphic Design Hermeneutics, 32 research papers and 18 didactic manuals. Manager from two diferent firms: a technologic center and a graphic design place. Teacher during 30 years, is oficial tutor from postgraduate program in the lines of researching projects, semiotic and hermeneutic studies; participating in academic events in Mexico, Dominicana Republic, USA, Canada, Greece, Spain, Cuba, Peru, Holland, Uruguay, Argentina, Germany and Prtugal and presentating conferences in Mexico, Panama, Cuba, Spain, USA, Lisbon and other countries; also, being advisor thesis from more than 120 researching student thesis works in different universities. Professional graphic designer, working in Mexico, USA and Canada in firms like BMG Entertainment, Environmental Law Institute or UNESCO in traditional and digital way. Visual artist, has exposed digital art, collage and visual poetry in more than 30 exhibitions in Mexico, Panama, USA, Rusia, Spain, France, Greece, Palestine and Frankfurt.


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