So let's get something clear. I'm not talking about this:
I think it's sad that this very public form of art is so looked down on. Street art has been around since ancient times. I think we all know about the beautiful murals of ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt, and the cave paintings of Lascaux:
I love street art. Controversy and legality issues aside, I love it. I love the murals cities pay artists to brighten things up and encourage creativity. I love the incredible creations of Kurt Wenner, Edgar Muller, Manfred Stader, Tracy Lee Stum, Julian Beever, and others (just google "unbelievable 3D chalk art"). I especially love the creative and thought-provoking work of Banksy, El Mac, David Walker, JR, and artists like them.
I wish there were a win-win situation, where street art instantly lost its bad reputation (and the reasons for that reputation) and somehow the vandalism laws and property owners were okay with surprise art showing up on random walls. But I guess the anonymity and risk adds excitement for artists like Banksy, and I will always appreciate the legal artwork commissioned by cities and property owners. I will always applaud the creativity, talent, boldness, and voice of the street artist, regardless of the subject matter and legality of his or her work.