“Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.”― Banksy, Wall and Piece
According to The Irish Times, Dublin City Council spent an estimated €1 million on the removal of graffiti from the streets of our capital last year. Whilst I do not condone defacing someone’s private property with such muck as “Damo Wuz Ere”, it can’t be said that Dublin isn’t the aesthetic canvass for some of the most incredible street art. But what’s the difference between street art and graffiti? Well an Garda Siochana have put it down to the simplicity of permission.
“If you have permission, it’s art. If you don’t have this permission, it’s a crime.” – Insp Liam Geraghty
However having sieved through various opinion pieces on street art and graffiti, Kate Murphy, coordinator of Graff Tours, a tour company that runs graffiti and street art tours in several cities in the US explained the difference between the two to the Columbia School of Journalism in six simple words.
“Street art is relatable, graffiti isn’t,” – Kate Murphy, Graff Tours
If the subject of street art is its “relatability”, then anything could be considered street art depending on the eye of the beholder. Below is just a sample of some of Dublin’s finest street art that this “beholder” came across on a sunny April afternoon.