Art With Purpose: Graffiti Edition

CIRCA MAY 2010: Stencil graffiti piece by Banksy on a building on Mission St, circa May 2010 in San Francisco, CA

Graffiti is more than just “punks” using spray cans to sign their name in hopes of gaining neighborhood infamy. Graffiti is an art. Every artist has their own personal style and set of techniques that they use to make works of art.

Graffiti transforms everyday scenery into something more and provides artists a public medium to express their creativity and opinions. Recently two graffiti artists’, the well known Banksy and the lesser known Narcelio Grud, works have caught my eye. Their use of graffiti to address environmental and social issues is captivating to say the least. For those readers who are not fans of graffiti, hopefully these artists’ murals will change your mind.


Besides being a graffiti artist Bansky (the pseudonym he goes by since graffiti is technically vandalism and illegal) is also a film director, political activist, and painter. Though Banksy is based out of England his works can be found in countries around the world. Banksy has done many works addressing a range of environmental issues including global warming, pollution, wildlife, consumerism, and land development.

Narcelio Grud

Narcelio Grud’s most recent work in Brazil titled “Tropical Hungry” addresses the issue of food waste and hunger. Grud painted an open mouth using only discarded produce from a local market in Fortaleza, Brazil. To document the process of the piece an accompanying video is available on vimeo.

Banksy Mural via Shutterstock

*Photo for Editorial Use Only. Use of this image in advertising or for promotional purposes is prohibited.  

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

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