Vandalism: Is it art or graffiti?

Is it art or is it a nuisance? New Orleanians are working to find the line when it comes to graffiti.

 NEW ORLEANS -- Everywhere you go in the city of New Orleans, you see it. In all shapes and colors, graffiti is all around.

"Graffiti can be art, but I think it's a time and place situation," Roman Maney said.

New Orleans residents Roman Maney and Leila Rad do not hate the sight of graffiti. However, they can see where it can become a problem.

"On sides of buildings and things like that when it's planned, when you're having someone come and you're a mural I think that's kind of things, but when it's on the side of a fence and when it's just someone's nickname or when it's someone's name on a bench and they're just spray painting just to make your mark, I think that's when it's considered Graffiti," Rad said.

The city of New Orleans prohibits graffiti when it's placed on a building or structure without consent of the owner.

According to crimemapping.com, over the past month, there were over 200 reports of vandalism in the city, which includes graffiti.

Artist Ayo Scott has been painting and drawing for several years.

"The interpretation or definition of what art is kind of depends on the view," Scott said.

Scott also believes art and graffiti mean different things to different people. Scott also says getting permission to showcase your talent in New Orleans can be challenging.

"I think that the bureaucracy in place is almost unnecessary when it comes to getting permits to do murals. Because even to paint on your own stuff you have to send it to a committee of people to approve to make sure that there's no advertising in it. Even if it's your own property," Scott said.

While residents understand police have a lot on their plates, Maney says he thinks more can be done to erase graffiti.

"Sometimes the small things do matter and they help to make a community grow," Maney said.

Depending on the damage to the property, defacing property with graffiti could cost up to hundreds of dollars. In some cases, vandals could face jail time. 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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