Grafitti The Art Of Vandalism Essay

2506 words - 10 pages

Graffiti is a unique form of art that is a relatively new in comparison with other genres. It's urban origins date back only a few decades. This style of art is characterized by artists who write nicknames or initials in creative lettering, most of the time done in public places. While some may see it as vandalism, it should be recognized as a valid type of artistic expression. Its history is hard to trace back due to fact that documentation on the topic is not readily available. Experts on the topic don't spread far from those involved in it personally. Nevertheless its evolution is easier to trace. Graffiti is fascinating and should be given the respect it deserves throughout the art world.Graffiti originated from political activists to make statements and street gangs to mark territory. It wasn't till the late 1960s that it's current identity started to form. The history of the underground art form movement may have begun in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the mid to late '60s. The writers who are credited with the first conscious bombing effort are CORNBREAD and COOL EARL. They wrote their names all over the city gaining attention from the community and local press. Meanwhile, similar styles of writing started to arise in New York. These mysterious markings even got mentioned in The New York Times. TAKI 183 was the name of the artist. He worked as a foot messenger in Manhattan, and would commonly ride the subway. This is where he chose to leave his markings. The appearance of this unusual name and numeral sparked public curiosity prompting the Times article. He was the first to be recognized publicly outside of the circle of people involved with the new underground art form.Throughout the city it seemed as if a movement was growing. Many writers were active in staking their own claim in various areas. The subway system began to be a common target for graffiti. People in all the five boroughs became aware of each other's efforts. This established the foundation of interborough competition.Graffiti art started moving from the streets to the subways and quickly became competitive. At this point writing consisted of mostly "tags", names or initials written in marker. Artists, or writers, would try to have their tag in as many places as possible, kind of marking their territory. Writers would ride the trains hitting as many subway cars as possible. Soon they began to go to the source, the train yard. They could get many more subway cars with less effort and the chance of getting caught was reduced. This is where the idea of "bombing" was originated. Bombing was the name given to painting or drawing on subway cars.It wasn't long before there were so many people getting involved in this art form that writers began to incorporate creativity and individuality into graffiti. Writers started to make their tags unique. They began to develop new styles of script and calligraphy. Writers decorated their tags with different kinds of designs....

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