Art Talk: Graffiti — Virtuosity or Vandalism?

Crime is low and rents are high in New York, but graffiti is back.

The elusive British artist known as Banksy is staging "an artist's residency" this month, creating a new piece of street art almost every day at different locations throughout the city.

In the meantime, 16 artists at the graffiti mecca in Long Island City known as 5 Pointz received a restraining order against the demolition of the warehouse.

Does that mean graffiti is coming back, after its heyday in the 1980s? WNYC's art critic Deborah Solomon thinks so.

"What we are seeing is really the mainstreaming of graffiti, and we are going through a period when artists want their work to endure, and owners of buildings want to keep some of the graffiti that is on the building because it's worth something," she said.

Solomon actually thinks graffiti should be decriminalized in New York City. Do you agree, or do you think graffiti artists are vandals? Leave your comment below.

To listen to the whole interview with Solomon, click on the audio player.