The dichotomy between street art and graffiti is ever-present, and is a tension that is historically embedded within the practice. On the one hand, graffiti is perceived as having a negative impact on the community, whilst street art is seen as a celebrated part of a city’s culture.
Commissioned street art is inclusive in its nature. Graffiti tagging, on the other hand tends to be more secretive and elite, and often excludes large sections of the community, thus affecting the accessibility of the message.
The message of a particular work tends to be site and medium specific, as it affects the scope of who internalizes this message. Street art that is located externally on private property confronts a much larger and more diverse audience every day, compared to art located in a gallery, whose visibility and the reach of its messaged is decreased, and its audience is made more homogenous. In this case, the somewhat restrictive nature of gallery exposure can insulate communities from a message.