When you hear about graffiti you usually just think of vandalism or gangs but that
is not what it is all about anymore. It now is becoming more of a modern art form, a
illegal art form. Next time your driving into a bigger city or watching a train go by,
maybe look for some of this art, you might be surprised with what some of these people
can do with a spray paint can. In this paper I want take a look into the history of graffiti,
the way it is done, and who does it.

Graffiti began as a form of communication on cave walls of early man.(Historyof
Graffiti). It used pictures and a form of letters to tell a story. The Egyptians used it a way
with hieroglyphics. But what graffiti artists do today is traced back to the Roman Empire,
where graffiti was applied as the writing on the wall. Modern graffiti started during the
late 50’s and early 60’s, and was used by political activists and street gangs to mark
territory. But in the late 60’s it took a whole new identity. It is now the underground art
movement, artist like TAKI 183 where making big noise in NYC. He was gaining fame
by just writing his nickname on cities walls and on the subway trains. In 1971 New York
Times published an article on him. He was wasn’t the only one gaining fame through
graffiti, many people from all over the world where starting to do it. In New York the
subway systems proved to be a line of communication and unifying element for all these
separate movements (@149st). People from all five broughs became aware of each
others efforts. This established interbrough competition. At this point it was a battle to
have the most tags as possible. This created the style of bombing. Bombing then led to
Graffiti is done in many different ways. It has developed to script and calligraphic
styles. Writers, which is graffiti artist, enhanced their tags with flourishes, stars and other
designs. Some designs where strictly for design while others had meaning. For instance,
crowns were used by writers who proclaimed themselves king (@149st). Writers can also
use different size nozzles for thin detail lines or fat size for bigger tags. Which now they
could fill in the letters with color and paint more of a bubble letter style, and inside the
letter they can add even more detail like polka dots or crosshatches. Soon arrows, curls,
connections and twist of letters would be added. Now with increasing complexity the
wild style was born. Wild style was the most artistic graffiti, yet. So, now instead of who
has the most tags it’s who has the best tag.
While graffiti is still underground art it attracts many people, even though, it has a
bad name and is considered dangerous. Graffiti takes to all types of different people. It is
one of the few movements that includes people from all backgrounds. The hip-hop
culture pushed graffiti. They made it one of the four elements of the culture. Since,
hip-hop originated on the streets of NYC, like graffiti, it was a perfect fit. Graffiti crews,
like the TDK Crew, where popping up, they are almost like a club of people who go
In this paper I hoped to open your eyes to a new type of art on the rise. By
showing the history, how it is done, and who does it.. Although, some just use it as a
form of vandalism I think we should look past it and see ome of the tags
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