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"vandalism" vs "public art"

Protracted feud on a Facebook wayfarer group, about whether graffitti counted as "public art".

We all understand and agree, per "potentially confusing submissions" guidelines, that common tags (e.g. a work consisting solely of someone's initials) were NOT acceptable.

We differed on whether larger works were acceptable.

One camp believed that the work must be done with the property owner's permission to count as "art", otherwise it was "vandalism" and should therefore be rejected. When pressed, they could find nothing in the guidelines that specifically precludes works done without the property owner's permission. They cited "property owner's rights" in POI that might encourage trespassing. They also argue that allowing "vandalism" encourages vandalism, and "we shouldn't be encouraging that".

The other camp countered that the art was in a public place, therefore trespassing and property owner's rights concerns were not an issue. Such works are common in low income urban areas, where "graffiti" or "street art" is often the ONLY public art that can be found. A work that has been left up for years is not a temporary display. In fact, it's endurance testifies that the owner, while not giving explicit permission when the work was created, is at least giving de-facto permission for the work to exist. No harm is done by having the POI in the game.

There is also an ambiguity argument. It is not always possible to tell just by looking at a work whether or not it was sanctioned by the property owner. Some of the people in the discussion were making the art / vandalism call based solely on their judgement of the quality of the work. Low quality works were judged as "vandalism" therefore bad, while high quality works were judged as "art" therefore good. A low quality work could be called "vandalism" even if it was created by the property owner. There are also clear examples of high quality work ("Banksy") that are done without the property owner's permission, but still left standing after the fact.

So here is my question. "Is VANDALISM, regardless of the artistic quality of the work, enough to merit instant one star rejection? Should all VANDALISM be rejected, regardless of artistic quality?"

(I can't post links here yet but google "is graffiti art or vandalism" in quotes for some hearty reading)

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