Graffiti is writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place without the permission of the property owner. Graffiti ranges greatly from simple written words to huge elaborate paintings on a wall. Spray paints and marker pens are the most commonly used graffiti materials. Stickers/adhesives are not considered graffiti.
An example of a ‘tag’ on a bus shelter. Image is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/orangeacid/249386565/
I find graffiti fascinating, it’s an art form that allows anyone to become an artist and have it be seen by people. There are many examples of horrible graffiti, mainly consisting of ‘tags’, tags or ‘scribbles’ are a stylised signature, usually created out of one colour contrasting sharply with the background to make them stand out as much as possible. This type of graffiti is the type that is considered mainly as vandalism and ruins surfaces. However, good graffiti engages the people that walk past it, they appreciate it, begin to look into it and think more deeply about the visuals that are presented, the views of the artist are portrayed – ‘What is the meaning behind it?’ passers by will ask.
These are some quotes by Banksy that I found interesting:
“Despite what they say graffiti is not the lowest form of art. Although you might have to creep about at night and lie to your mum it’s actually one of the more honest art forms available. There is no elitism or hype, it exhibits on the best walls a town has to offer and nobody is put off by the price of admission.”
“A wall has always been the best place to publish your work.”
“The people who truly deface our neighbourhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff. They expect to be able to shout their message from every available surface but you’re never aloud to answer back. Well, they started the fight of the fight and the wall is the weapon of choice to hit them back.”
I probably won’t look too much into creating my own graffiti however, as this is a form of art that isn’t easy to do as it requires a lot of effort to produce, and in some cases run away from the police! It is technically an illegal form of art and I don’t wish to vandalise property.
Street poster art
Street poster art is another kin of graffiti. The posters are usually printed graphics or hand made which are put onto thin paper. Instead of a gallery or museum, the posters are installed on the streets. Wheatpaste is an easily made liquid adhesive which consists of vegetable starch and water; this is what is used for adhering th paper posters to walls and other surfaces.
Some graffiti artists that I will be looking at include Banksy, Blu, Roa and Shepard Fairey.