Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Julie Post 4_Graffiti Art


Graffiti is a type of deliberate marking on property, both private and public. It can take the form of pictures, drawings, words, or any decorations inscribed on any surface usually outside walls and sidewalks. When done without the property owner's consent, it constitutes illegal vandalism.

Graffiti has existed at least since the days of ancient civilizations. Graffiti originally was the term used for inscriptions, figure drawings, etc., found on the walls of ancient sepulchers or ruins, as in the Catacombs, or at Pompeii

In the modern era, in early 1970s young New Yorkers, belonging to the black and Puerto Rican communities, started to adopt tags - signatures and signs made with aerosol sprays and markers in public places. Tags started to cover the city's walls, buses and, above all, subway trains, with spectacular "whole car" works covering entire trains. Tags, like screen names, are sometimes chosen to reflect some qualities of the writer. Some tags also contain subtle and often cryptic messages.

The first modern identified tagger in New York was Taki. The Greek-American artist signed himself Taki 183 (probably the number of his apartment block). At the same time the "grafs" also made their appearance. These were real urban frescoes painted with spray-paint. Futura 2000, Dust and Pink all earned recognition and fame, although their celebrity was limited to the hip-hop culture and its circles.

Basquiat and Haring also started to work in the street and the subway, but the renown and repute of their work would very swiftly spread beyond the works of graffiti. Their works won instant critical acclaim and attracted the attention of influential art dealers. In no time they were in great demand. Their art was one of the rare forms to circulate freely through all social strata and attract enthusiasm from all sorts of people who were usually marked more by the abysses between them.

The difference between tagging and graffiti is arguable, but some say it's a clear one: tagging is gang-motivated and/or meant as vandalism (illegal) or viewed as too vulgar or controversial to have public value; while graffiti can be viewed as creative expression, whether charged with political meaning or not.

The above quote comes from the www.huntfor.com website.

My view

Important Historical Records are written down either in picture or letter form and the older these records are, the more valuable they become! Whether the medium is primitive as in cave drawings or more refined as etched into gold coins, these markings speak to us about Mankind's 'journey through time'.

I personally believe that human beings are creative by nature and the desire to draw and express ideas and emotions is inbuilt. Without this important aspect, our knowledge of history would be greatly lacking.

Above Image accessed from Ebay.com

Civilizations are often depicted by a single image unearthed in a dig, for example a famous mosaic of a woman from Pompeii is often used as a quick symbol to recognize that era.

In many European countries Graffiti Art is accommodated.
A graffiti Artist is commissioned to paint on a building, which often becomes a tourist attraction, then after awhile another Artist is commissioned to replace it with another work. These works are photographed and filmed from beginning to end, so they are in that sense living on long after they have gone! I think this should be the norm everywhere so great artists will continue to emerge as time rolls on.

The question of 'Political Propaganda' and 'Domination of a Population' now comes into question. Unfortunately there are evil people on this earth whose hunger for Power knows no bounds, these corrupt people will use this type of creativity to achieve their own goals. An appreciation of creativity does not underline their motives but simply a lust for power, punctuated by fanaticism or delusion.

Hilter now comes to mind, or China's Mao where their message has been against artistic and creative endeavor, while all along they're using artistic graffiti to push their own agendas, that of 'gaining power over the masses'.

Unknown Graffiti Artist

Scrawl is another great website dedicated to Artwork from the streets around the world, including Canada, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, UK, Spain, Nicaragua and USA.




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