There are thousands of graffiti existing today. You probably see a few of them each day as you go about your daily business. How can’t you? It’s all over the walls, in the cubicle partitions in public restrooms, on your school desks and chairs, the hallways and lockers, in unused vehicles, even in some animals. No, don’t remove your contact lenses; you’re not seeing things.
Believe it or not, graffiti has been around since the time of antiquity. Writings and drawings can still be found in many of the ruins of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. The art has evolved since then and people make graffiti today by using different materials. Spray paints and permanent markers are often used by vandals while the more artistic people use chalk, crayons and paintbrush.
Graffiti has various purposes, depending on the people who make them. Most hiphop artists incorporate it in their clothing, music and other elements. On the other hand, gangs use graffiti to mark their territory as well as to indicate their activities. Aside from hiphop- and gang-related works, graffiti is also used for activism. Even today, some of the artworks you see in the social media communicate its maker’s take on certain issues, or to send a message.
Let’s take look at a few examples:
Little People by Tom Check
Artsy firehouse by Tom Check
3D graf by rifa in Paris, France
5 Pointz in Queens, New York
Street Art in Lisbon, Portugal
Street Art in Bogota, Columbia
By Dome in Karlsruhe, Germany
By Kobra in São Paulo, Brazil
By sokram@desordescreativas2012 in Ordes, Galiza, Spain
By Tasso in Meerane, Germany
Graffiti by Cor in Frankfurt, Germany
Razor Sharp by Spen Crush Proof
Mural by Natalii Rak at in Białymstoku, Poland
Street Art by Ashop in Montreal, Canada
Street Art by Bordalo Segundo in Portugal
By Generoso Rodriguez Querol
Street art by Endless
Graffiti Art by Shiratski in Amsterdam
The Happy Rizzi House, Brunswick, Germany
Prison Break 3D Graffiti Chalk Art by Julian Beever
Eiffel Tower 3D Graffiti Art by Julian Beever
3d Graffiti Art by Kurt Wenner
3d Graffiti Art 2 by Kurt Wenner
3d Graffiti Art by Eduardo Relero
3d Graffiti Art 2 by Eduardo Relero
Graffiti artists do what they do for three main reasons: to create a work of art, to express themselves, and to have fun. Views on graffiti from the audience’s perspective vary from person to person. While some think of it as art, others regard it as vandalism. Despite the several rules about property defacement in most countries, authorities are still conflicted on how to respond to graffiti-making.
You have to admit that both graffiti lovers and haters have a point. On one hand, many of the artworks are indeed easy on the eyes, some so realistic that it’ll take your breath away. On the other hand, most graffiti are made illicitly and some works are such an eyesore. You just have to decide for yourself whether or not the writings or drawings you’re looking at is a work of art.
What is your take on graffiti? Do you think they are valuable works of art, or should it be stopped? Which of these graffiti works would you like to see in real life? Tell us in the comments section below!