Wall Art vs. Graffiti

Wall Art vs. Graffiti

Graffiti and wall art are commonly construed as being the same thing; however, there are distinct differences between the two and the value it can bring or take away from your business. For one, graffiti is illegal while wall art is legal. We hope that you, as a business owner, don’t have to deal with the trouble of getting rid of graffiti (but if you do, Glide Rite is here to help you).

This month we want to focus on protecting your business from graffiti (and in some instances wall art). While there are differences between the two, including when they are legal and illegal, there are some parameters that need to be understood by all business owners before getting serious about graffiti/wall art removal. Glide Rite is here to protect you, your business, and your rights.

Protecting Your Business

When a business is “tagged” or spray painted with graffiti without the permission of the business owner and without the business owners knowledge, it is considered illegal. Only with your written consent can another party “tag” or paint on your business. If you find that you are in a position where your business has been tagged, call us immediately to set up an appointment for removal.

Graffiti that is unwanted and unwarranted can lower the value and perception of your business. Although this is through no fault of your own, customers will be turned off by businesses that do not take care of unwanted graffiti. Unwanted graffiti is typically distasteful and can have associations with gangs or vandalism. This gives the wrong impression to potential customers about your business.

Not only is the graffiti bad for your business, it is also bad for your community. As stated above, the negative connotations that go along with unwanted graffiti can impact your community and not just your business alone. It is your duty as a business owner and as a hard-working member of your community to keep your business in pristine condition so that more customers will be attracted to other areas of your community, too. This is for everyone’s benefit as bringing in more customers to your business area helps everyone.

At Glide Rite, we are proficient in graffiti removal. We use the highest-grade technology in the business with environmentally safe, biodegradable cleaners to make your business look as good as new. Let us protect your business and your community; schedule your graffiti removal as soon as it happens.

Legal or Illegal?

As a business owner, you need to be able to identify if the graffiti or wall art on your business is legal or illegal. Most of the time, it will be considered illegal if you did not give written consent to the artist during the time that you owned the building; however, there are some fine lines that should be noted in this section if you are a business person looking to purchase a building.

If you are purchasing, renovating, or destroying property that contains graffiti—that was there prior to your purchasing of the building—you must assess whether or not it is “recognized stature” which would protect it under copyright law. For example, if the previous owner gave consent for an artist to create wall art on the outside of the building while they still owned it, and you have now purchased this building, you may not be allowed to remove the wall art because it could be protected under copyright law. In a grayer area, it could have been placed illegally prior to your purchase but has thus risen to be recognized in the community. You will have to do your research when acquiring a building with wall art.

Legal wall art, which is consent given by you the owner to an artist, must be a written agreement stipulating that the artist waives their VARA (Visual Artists Rights Act) rights. There are several laws that protect wall art under VARA, so it is important to verse yourself with these rights if you 1) have/are going to purchase a building that already contains wall art or 2) are considering giving an artist rights to create art on your business.

This is what the Penal Code in Texas states about illegal graffiti:

Sec. 28.08.  GRAFFITI.  (a)  A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, the person intentionally or knowingly makes markings, including inscriptions, slogans, drawings, or paintings, on the tangible property of the owner with:

(1)  paint;

(2)  an indelible marker; or

(3)  an etching or engraving device.


Wall Art

If you are a business owner and are interested in acquiring some wall art for your business, check out this Graffiti Abatement and Prevention Program (GAPP). They focus on promoting public safety and reducing vandalism (they like legal wall art). Just as graffiti can bring negative connotations to your business and your community, beautiful, meaningful, and artistic wall art can bring in business and culture to your community. Check out these community inspired murals going up around Dallas, and these photos of beautiful wall art in Dallas.

Glide Rite is here to help you and your business when you need it. If you find that your business has been vandalized and you need immediate removal to maintain your business’s and community’s integrity, Glide Rite should be your first call. We service the Dallas-Fort Worth area and are always ready to give your business its best clean. Call us: (817) 807-0004

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