To tag or not to tag?

TORONTO – With a coffee house threatened with a fine for leaving a couple of tags on their wall, graffiti has managed to spray itself across the headlines once again.

Often considered the most deviant art form, you can’t miss street art if you tried: it’s on the walls of warehouses as you pass through Scarborough on the RT, it’s in alleyways in Kensington Market, it’s even on TTC buses and subways in the form of illegible tags, which are normally an artist’s signature, scrawled with black markers.

The question is: what is considered vandalism and what is art? And why do artists, whether experienced or just starting out, feel the need to tag walls?

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