Street art is more a visual art form than random graffiti, contingent to the motive behind the artist’s work, as it creates a wide gamut of different reactions among the audience, and thus a relationship between the artist and the community through its expression of self and culture.

The negative status of street art is mainly due to the gang signs and tags that make up nearly 95% of all “street art”, or more specifically, graffiti. This in turn raises concerns that urban children will be corrupted by the display of gang culture visible virtually anywhere in the streets, eventually resulting in a dramatic increase in crime and violence in those parts of the city.

 

Street shows beauty and culture all around

But street art has redefined the way that artwork is viewed. The traditional paintings and sculptures housed in art museums have a limited audience that consists only of those who intend to observe art and have an interest in it. Street art, with its typical vibrant colors and eye-popping effects, catches the broader public’s eye, enticing them to look up from their newspapers and smartphones, showing them that life is about more than work or busy schedules and that they should appreciate the beauty and culture all around.

 

Street art makes it into Paris Louvre

Popular acclaimed street artists such as British painter and filmmaker Banksy, who has brought his art to major museums around the world (including the Paris Louvre) and even featured in Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2010, often travel between countries to spread their designs. Some artists have gained cult followings, attracted media and art world attention, and gone on to work commercially in the styles which made their work known on the streets.

 

Graffiti slogans on buildings, highway bridges and trains

Vandalistic graffiti has become a widespread problem, seen in the largest cities and on highway bridges and trains. What we are talking about here are unprofessional pieces of graffiti by amateurs. Constituting the vast majority of graffiti, they are often just names, tags or offensive slogans.

 

Vandalistic graffiti however costs billions per year for clean up

The bill for cleaning up is presented to the owners and facility managers of public and private buildings, as well as railway companies. The costs typically associated with graffiti erasure and prevention run to billions of dollars annually. In the UK, graffiti removal costs GBP 1 billion a year, in France the figure is estimated at more than EUR 10 million and in the United States as much as USD 1.3 billion. Moreover, the city of Paris, for instance, spends EUR 3 million every year on removing illegal posters. Sydney City Hall spends AUD 1 million per year.

 

How protect buildings against vandalism?

Most offenders work quickly, when few people are around. Graffiti and illegal fly-posting predominantly occur late on weekend nights, though there is little systematic evidence for this. Is there an easy way to achieve long-term protection against these acts of vandalism? How can recurrent graffiti be removed just by using simple water jetting or even hosing with cold water, rubbing the graffiti with a cloth without the help of any aggressive cleaning agents?

The permanent, transparent coating Sikagard®-850 AG Anti-Graffiti and Anti-Poster can be easily applied by brush, roller and professional spray equipment to mineral
substrates, coated substrates, wood and even metal.

 

No need for detergents, aggressive cleaners – cold water is enough

The substrate does not need to be recoated after graffiti removal as is the case with alternative sacrificial systems. There is no need for detergents, aggressive cleaners, hot water or high pressure blasting. All that is required is simple water jetting or a cold water hose, and the graffiti can be readily wiped off with a clean cloth. Posters, however, will be prevented from bonding. They will just fall off on their own after a few days. After application, the product leaves a glossy film which can subtly emphasize the colors of a property.

 

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