Yes, graffiti is art!

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Cartoonists who draw detailed pictures on buildings are called taggers (I got that from a police drama, so I’m not sure it’s accurate, but it sounds right). Most people would agree that, regardless of their title, what taggers produce is graffiti. Would you consider graffiti art?

If your answer is no, you’ve likely never heard of Banksy; I hadn’t, until I came across this CNN news story about his surprisingly expensive art being sold for $60 on the streets of New York.


Although I’ve been known to say, “Hey, that’s cool,” while gesturing toward graffiti in downtown Cleveland, I must admit that calling it art never crossed my mind. That is, until I learned about Banksy and his work.

When placed on canvas, the anonymous artists’ graffiti sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars. And, yes, after seeing more of it on his website, I definitely think graffiti is art.

So, the next time your child or student is doodling, I’d take a moment of pause before telling her to stop. In fact, you might suggest painting it on the side of the corner store.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series, The uNseries, and other books from some of education's most reputable teachers and leaders. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Connect with @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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