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Drawing the line between a mural and graffiti

Recently, internationally recognised street artist Stormie Mills’ graffiti mural was painted over by City of Vincent council workers as part of a police “sting operation” targeting graffiti. The mural drawn by the Perth artist in 2011, was painted on the side of a building he owns in Northbridge and was mistakenly removed with the graffiti. This blunder was described by Mayor of Vincent John Carey as an “embarrassing stuff up.”

This brings forth the question: What constitutes “street art” as being graffiti?

FCT is called to remove (what is described as) graffiti daily by various schools, councils, commercial premises and residential owners. The graffiti removed is usually offensive or unsightly and is drawn on premise property causing detriment. domain like However, is FCT removing graffiti or are these murals?

Being that Stormie Mills is a street/visual artist operating out of Perth does this mean that all his works are to be considered murals? Or is there a line that can be drawn between a mural and graffiti?

Better turn to Google…

Mural
ˈmjʊər(ə)l/
noun
A painting or other work of art executed directly on a wall.

Graffiti
grəˈfiːti/
noun
Writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place.

The answer as defined above appears to be that comparatively, one is a work of art and the other illicit drawings on public surfaces.

But hold on – wasn’t Stormie Mills’ mural drawn in a public place? And, does this mean that if one were to draw a ‘work of art’ on a wall it would be considered a mural?

What are your thoughts on this?

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