The time has come for the question, which has remained for years, regarding the writings on the wall and the new age of urban art, commercialization, the social network, and the imaginary community to be answered. Well, at least attempt a qualitative auto-visual ethnographic attempt at understanding these relationships and social impacts.
First of all, the separation of what can be considered "graffiti" and "Urban" Art" must de determined in order to even begin to answer this question. However, according to current anthropological research, the verdict concludes that,"what is needed is a non-homogeneous solution because the present response to the costly problem of graffiti proliferation if largely ungovernable,"(Taylor and Marais, 2009). I would have to begin my hypothesis directing attention first and foremost to the problems regarding the academic definitions now given to such words as "graffiti" due to anthropological research, and the social connotations and denotations attached to the act of graffiti art. By addressing this data gap, one can understand further the separation in ideas through a "word shift from the technical and semantic to the legal and punitive,"(Ouzman,2010).
"In recent years, a move has taken place to distance illegal graffiti from its legally-sanctioned counterpart, urban art through creating a conceptual distinction between 'graffiti as crime' and 'graffiti as cultural expression,"(Taylor and Marais, 2009). Academics cannot help but need to evaluate the graffiti through rigid quantitative values: social, economic, environmental, and aesthetic while at the same time giving a multitude of categories for your graffiti to fit into.
Better yet, Taylor and Marais stated in their research paper for the British Criminology Conference that "while murals, can be effective when the graffiti sub- cultures membership respect the skills of the mural artists.(Allen, 2007).