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Title: Subverting public space? : graffiti artists in contemporary Malta
Authors: Camilleri, Adrian
Keywords: Graffiti artists -- Malta
Graffiti -- Malta
Street art -- Malta
Semiotics -- Malta
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: This dissertation looks at Graffiti Artists in contemporary Malta. The research aimed to explore the divide between ‘graffiti’ and ‘street art’ in the local context where graffiti is perceived as an illegal act and street art is more tolerated. In addition, through the work of my main informant, my ethnography revealed that graffiti and street art are sometimes motivated solely by aesthetics but at times one finds graffiti and street art to be an act of resistance. Thus, the same act can be interpreted as crossing the registers of ‘art’ and at times be considered ‘vandalism’. The research also explored the political potential of graffiti and street art in a semiotic space. Throughout the course of the ethnography, a tension emerged delineating my main informant’s practices and artistic persona vis-à-vis the work he engages in during the day and that which he does at night. Participant observation allowed for the witnessing of the graffiti and looking at the various meanings that are ascribed to them by the artist and further observation of the tension created by their material form. The underlying purpose of drawing on walls is to communicate a message to the general public. My main informant mainly engages in legal and commissioned work, however, he continues to do illegal graffiti. This conveys that he is highly influenced by both street art and graffiti and has managed to fuse the two together and build an artistic career.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2017
Dissertations - FacArtAS - 2017

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