There is a lot of graffiti where I live... and it's pretty much art. A renaissance of sorts in downtown LA. Deeper than much of what you see elsewhere (unless you visit heavily industrial areas - the good stuff concentrates there). I find truth in it - there is a compulsion to spark meaning from the meaningless. Boring facade becomes place of note, ugly industrial becomes canvas. Message at every corner. These works behind me are cool to look at but they have a world behind them. There is meaning if you really take it in... if you spend the time.
It's not about your name anymore, it's about what you can instigate, how many boundaries you can push.
I have a huge love for Banksy. If you don't know about him - you need to. He truly is a great artist of our time.
Another recommendation: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Great book I read ages ago. I can't explain it without sounding elitist and high-falutin. It talks of the factories and buildings around us - how we have no idea what so many of these buildings are FOR. What do these ugly facades create? Why they are there? It speaks of how they create a sense of alienation from the world around us, from society. I feel graffiti stems from a need to bring expression back to these monoliths. Humanity over Industrial. Expression over Necessity. Individual over Government.
Life sprung from Concrete...