The use of graffiti backdrops conveys certain characteristics– artistic, young, hip, trendy. The person inhabiting the photo felt that by using someone else’s creative expression, it makes them appear like an art aficionado, a supporter of artistic ingenuity. This is using art to enhance image.

Graffiti is a form of visual communication, and it has been through a lot – so to say. It was once associated with gang-related activity, an act of vandalism and later transformed into an expressive urban art form. Artists such as Banksy and Diego Rivera are the pioneering creatives that made such a turn happen in our lifetime. Graffiti becomes a marker of communities, cultural importance, stories waiting to be heard. Graffiti unites people.

Now we see another transformation happening. Graffiti as a slave to the selfie. With little regard to its content and message, people snap photos in front of these colourful, urban masterpieces to draw attention to their “creative” side. When did such an artistic expression become a marker for creative vanity?