There are thousands of graffiti artists throughout the UK who continue to deface public property and surfaces each year. The on-going debate whether this is art or a crime is yet to be solved, encouraging more and more young artists to break into the graffiti world. Whilst many graffiti artists are caught by the police and issued with a warning/criminal record, there is one man who is the inspiration to many - Banksy.
This elusive man has managed to conceal his identity in his many years of spraying surfaces across the world with his art. His success as a graffiti artist is largely down to his mystery as well as his unique approach to art. Whilst the globe is divided in half into those who admire him and those who despise him, he has truly created a name for himself. Banksy recently released a film 'Exit Through the Gift Shop' featuring a shop keeper turned amateur film maker who attempts to capture Banksy himself, only to have Banksy turn the camcorder back on its owner himself.
Whilst street art is an ever developing movement many forget that these street artists are committing an illegal offence. This is because no matter what they create on a public surface, they have not sought the permission to do so. The graffiti that is plastered across surfaces and walls all over the globe costs governments and authorities millions of pounds. Commercial cleaners are brought in to complete the anti graffiti removal using specialist equipment such as anti graffiti paint.
Graffiti is a costly and time consuming problem but with a divided country and no way of monitoring artists 24/7, the UK is constantly sprayed with fresh graffiti every day. Idols like Banksy are part of this problem, encouraging young and easy influenced artists to follow in their footsteps. A recent example of this poor example of a role model is Banksy paying £6,500 in bail each for Russian graffiti artists Voina who had been jailed for overturning police cars.
There are many schemes that are anti graffiti who aim to crack down on the ever evolving problem. Local authorities set up graffiti and general litter schemes, spending money on educating and preventing future graffiti. These schemes also highlight other issues such as chewing gum stuck to the streets which requires experts in chewing gum removal to remove it safely and effectively.