Monday, June 10, 2013


                                                            Image courtesy of Colours Pedia

Grafitti is defined as "writings or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched,or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place."    Grafitti varies from the simplicity of one written word to the intricate and elaborate paintings on public structures..  This urban art form has been part of human culture since ancient times.

Today's most popular medium is paint, most definitely spray paint, and maker pens.  In most places, this public art form is deemed defacement and vandalism and a criminal offense.  However, it can also be an expression of socio-political messages.  It has evolved along side hip-hop music and is a noted trademark for gangs wishing to mark their territory.

There is an ongoing controversy between opponents and proponents of grafitti with regard to it's display in the public space.  There are numerous types and styles of this art form, whose value is highly contested and reviled by many.

There are hordes of talented, and undoubtedly frustrated, artists producing grafitti.  Much of it, as evidenced in the photo above, is vivid, beautiful, and imaginative.  Whether one approves or disapproves of it, there can be no question that grafitti speaks volumes about the world in which we live.

Check out these  interesting and informative books on the subject.

Wall and Piece  by Banksy, the legendary British street artist.

The History of American Grafitti   by Roger Gastman and Caleb Neelon.  It delves into the storiy behind the art form with great profiles from many years of interviews with well known and less prominent artists.

Trespass:  A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art  by Carlo McCormick et al.  This book was written in collaboration with grafitti artists and looks at the rise and global reach of grafitti and urban art.

1 comment: