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graffiti art

The word ‘Graffiti’ refers to images or pictures that are drawn in public places without securing the appropriate permissions. Although most people would associate graffiti with rowdy city youngsters, the truth is that graffiti originated in ancient Greece and Rome. Pictures of graffiti art show that this art form was even prevalent in ancient Egypt.

 Modern graffiti art is believed to have originated in the 1960s or 1970s. The only changes in graffiti have been their central themes and perhaps the tools for application. Today, graffiti is created using spray paints and markers and unfortunately may include offensive vocabulary. Such work however is tantamount to vandalism and if caught, the offenders may be legally prosecuted. Even though there are many reckless individuals who enjoy causing such damage to property, the proper use of graffiti can be thought-provoking and can even serve as an important tool to send out social messages. This kind of positive graffiti has found its place as an art form and can even be seen in museums. Creating graffiti art therefore has much to do with content thereof. Offensive words scribbled on walls have no aesthetic value and hence cannot be deemed art. On the other hand one may come across beautiful murals in cities around the globe today which enhance the beauty of the neighborhood.

Many of these murals may be commissioned by the governing bodies of the area. In India, for instance, several artists were commissioned to paint murals and to essentially create graffiti art over the walls off police stations in an effort to beautify the city of Mumbai. These art works were both thought-provoking and aesthetically appealing.
As modern-day graffiti may have its roots in New York City, it is only logical for today’s graffiti art lettering to have its roots in tagging, which was originally a method through which gangs identified the graffiti of their own members as well as that of other gang members.

The graffiti art alphabet may be monochromatic, basic alphabets or may be the more evolved dual-colored, outlined alphabets. More complicated styles of graffiti lettering include three-dimensional lettering. If you want to learn how to write graffiti art, it may make sense to get your hands on graffiti art stencils, which would make the task of lettering easy. 

No matter how ornate the art work or mural, a true graffiti artist would have his or her name somewhere within the design. Like any artist, the graffiti artist enjoys adulation and appreciation of his art. In New York, when graffiti started off as scribbles in the underground subway system, the artists would seek to be recognized by his or her artwork but artwork was usually limited to the fancy lettering of their names. This is when different kinds of lettering were designed. Because subways drew such large numbers of people, artists rejoiced in the amount of visibility their work enjoyed. Over time, with the rise of hip hop, subway graffiti has adopted hip hop culture and reflects such themes.

Author ~ Anjana Vaswani


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