Graffiti vs. Street Art: A debate I don’t understand

Sometimes when I’m making these Wild Style Wednesday posts, I have a difficult time deciding whether I can include a piece because I can’t distinguish if it is “graffiti” or really just “street art”. For some reason, that matters. I ask myself questions like “Does the work have arrows?” “Is there reference to a 3-letter-name graffiti crew?” “Was this done with a legitimate risk of arrest?”

Instead of WSW this week, I’ve decided to compile some photos that didn’t make it into a previous WSW post, and assign them to more fitting ‘subcategories’ of graffiti/street art.

A mural of graffiti.
By MataOne in Renaix. Photo by Startape Photographe.
Ghetto product placement
Satyr, Goser, 4Gets and Mr. Ef in East Bay. Photo by FunkandJazz.
Pop-contemporary egoism
Adek and MQ in San Francisco. Photo by FunkandJazz
Slap-stick vandalism 
By Lush in Australia. Photo by Merciful Fate.
Caricature of a “graffiti artist” painted illegally.
By Graphis in Brazil.
Noncommissioned neo-cubist mural
BemsGF in France. Photo by GhettoFarceur.
Graffiti disguised as street art.
Ed Mun in Brazil.
Art school vandalism
Snek, Graphis and Terone. Photo by Graphis.
Childstyle graffiti.
Alissa in Brazil. Photo by Graphis.
Unwarranted expressionism
Bims and Rems. Photo by GhettoFarceur.

Let’s play a game.

VIEWERS DECIDE FIVE: Street art? Graffiti? Subcategory?


Cranio in Brazil.


L’Arabe-Stré in France. Photo by GhettoFarceur.


Feustay, Sway and Kalouf in Niort. Photo by Startape Photographe.


Mr. Wany and Coze. Photo by Heavy Artillery.


A tag by Amour in Paris. Photo by Morac19.

 Photos by CranioEd MunFunkandJazzGhettoFarceurGraphis1Heavy Artillery, Merciful FateNardstar and Startape Photographe