Everybody knows the difference between "tagging" a wall with gang signs to signify turf and graffiti. The former is vandalism, the latter is art. Check out this blog of Brazilian grafitti organized by city. Then cruise over to Sailor's site for some more exotic street art. Charleston taggers are featured at this site. And KC's taggers can be found here. Graffiti has been around since the ancient Romans. Early graffito (the plural, believe it or not) adorned the walls of tombs in Pompeii.
It's not hard to understand. Humans are by nature artistically expressive in one manner or another. Parts of the world have embraced street art, while others employ armies of clean-up workers and special surfaces to suppress the practice. That generally doesn't work, especially in urban centers where keeping up with artistically obsessed individuals and groups is an impossible task. So recently some of New York's boroughs have been talking about outlawing the sale of spray paint. Yea, uh-huh. Now that's a rational response. Just give it up. Spend a sensible amount of taxpayer dollars cleaning up the most offensive, and leave the rest - even encourage expression in designated venues.
The Author has been trolling the net for some great sites and examples of street art. Virtually every continent and every major city has much to offer in that regard. I'm going to miss a lot of great stuff, but here's what I've decided to share. I need to acknowledge the help and permissions granted to me by the owner/blogmeister of the great Chilean site, here, who provided the images below.