The Writing On The Wall – A Look Into The World Of Graffiti

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1 year ago

Graffiti has always been given a negative connotation as it is seen as a defacement of a piece of property with the used of paint and other items. It has also been inextricably linked with the hip hop culture and has become one of the main elements of the movement. Despite the negativity that some people feel towards graffiti, it has slowly become one of the foremost art forms in modern society.

Graffiti’s History

Despite seeming to be an all too modern art form, graffiti has always been around even in ancient times. Remains and relics from the ancient Roman city Pompeii reveal a world where people expressed their thoughts emotions by writing on walls and on other public and private items. Everything from poems to various drawings was found preserved in the ancient walls. This kind of society in ancient Rome is beautifully depicted in the introductory scenes of the HBO series Rome. The animators of the two season TV series depicted Roman streets and walls covered with graffiti that ranged from the obscene and sexually explicit to depictions that were political in nature.

Rome wasn’t the only place where ancient graffiti was found. The Egyptians were also known to write on the walls aside from their highly celebrated hieroglyphics. In Saudi Arabia, it is widely recognized that a form of ancient Arabic language called Safaitic was only found scratched into boulders and rocks in the Syrian and Jordanian deserts.

During war eras and choppy political periods in the United States, people have also seen various forms of graffiti from World War Two’s “Kilroy Was Here” to Dick Nixon “Before He Dicks You” during the 1970s. Another famous graffiti are the immortal words “Clapton is God” found in the London


Modern Day Graffiti

Modern Day Graffiti is mostly associated with the Hip Hop Culture. There are various forms of graffiti art as well as a multitude of artists that leave tags on their work. Notable is TAKI 183 and Julio 204. These individuals and a lot of others left their stamps in public walls and also in the heart of modern day art. Graffiti as it is found today has become very elaborate and have evolved from simple images to more elaborate slogans, images and other spray paint creations.

Graffiti Tributes are a common occurrence all over the streets of New York and on the prominent cities in the United States. These are often tributes given to people of prominence that have passed away. Most notable are the hip hop legends that have died like Tupac, B.I.G, Jam Master Jay, Big L and Big Pun. Other than Hip Hop legends, “greats” like Princess Diana and Mother Teresa were also immortalized in graffiti artwork.

From the Streets to Galleries

In 2006 graffiti art found its way into the halls of the Brooklyn Museum. Here, artists like Lady Pink, Crash and others were officially celebrated as great artists. The curator of the Museum hoped that by this process, the negative view that people had about graffiti will change for the better.

All over the world, graffiti is slowly getting the recognition that it deserves. Though it is still not a generally accepted art form and is still often viewed as a form of vandalism, people are slowly changing their ideas about graffiti and soon consider it to be an official art form.

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