Graffiti is drawings or writings that have been etched, sprayed or marked on a public wall or public place. Graffiti refers to graphics applied to any surface in the form of vandalism. Sometimes graffiti expresses a message or a purpose, and other times the purpose is simply to mark up or scribble on the area. The purpose may be to just vandalize or defile that place or to write your name there.
Is graffiti art? Some people would say no. In fact, there are laws against vandalism and graffiti in many areas and states. However, there are more street artists taking the time to say something constructive or make a beautiful work of art in a public place. Should graffiti be judged on its aesthetic qualities? Should the artists still be punished if they have a purpose other then to desecrate a place? Should they be published for their art? Graffiti gave street kids a voice and a way out of their ghetto; it gave them a method of self-expression that they perhaps could not find anywhere else.
The History of Graffiti
The Greek and Romans used to carve pictures on the walls and monuments but we do not usually consider this graffiti, not compared to modern graffiti. Modern graffiti as we know it, the kind that uses spray paint and tags walls and signs, came about in New York in the 1960s. A local man, who worked as a messenger ‘tagged’ walls with his name throughout the city. The man gained mystery and notoriety through an interview by a local newspaper. Then, this trend caught on with kids everywhere and the graffiti movement just exploded throughout the world.
Nowadays graffiti has become much more then writing your name on a wall. At first, the signatures became more and more elaborate until graffiti became huge murals and paintings. Artists from all over compete and try to outdo one another. Graffiti is now a world of its own, with its own vocabulary, techniques and artists. Graffiti art has been featured in galleries and even made its way into the world of graphic design. Graffiti is an art that uses the world as its canvas.